A Call to Action: Trustee Advocacy to Advance Opportunity for Black Communities in Philanthropy

This Call to Action encourages foundation Trustees to increase the representation of Black leadership among foundations’ staff, vendors, consultants and grantees. It emerges from the Association of Black Foundation’s (ABFE) initiative, “Leverage the Trust”, which promotes the role of Black Trustees in making philanthropy more responsive to Black communities.

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Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — Message Manual for the Field

This guide will help you communicate with a variety of audiences about the importance of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy and help your organization better achieve its mission. The language can be used as a reference or as a template for preparing materials and presentations.

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Best Practices Study: Children, Youth and Family Philanthropy

This report highlights the considered experiences and views of leading children, youth and family grantmakers across the U.S. concerning key insights they have gleaned about practices that either advance or impede diversity in areas ranging from governance and staffing to grantmaking and contracting.  

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Best Practices Study: Health Foundations

This report highlights the considered experiences and views of leading health grant makers across the U.S. concerning some of the key insights they have gleaned about what practices advance or impede diversity in areas ranging from governance and management to grant making and contracting.  

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Building Diverse and Inclusive Foundations, Lessons from Michigan

This publication synthesizes themes and highlights examples and lessons from the Knowledge Symposium on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy: The Michigan Experience convened by the Council of Michigan Foundations and the Diversity in Philanthropy Project on March 2‐4, 2009 in Detroit and pre‐symposium interviews with approximately 20 Michigan foundations and 17 national content experts.

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Building the Bridge for Diversity and Inclusion: Testing a Regional Strategy

Transforming Michigan Philanthropy Through Diversity & Inclusion (TMP) is a six-year research and development effort of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF). A unique experiment, TMP is the only statewide, comprehensive effort to promote diversity and inclusiveness among foundations in the country. Organizational excellence through diversity and inclusion requires an organization to find a goal that resonates with its stakeholders and then create collaborative communities that focus on achieving that goal. This strategy positions an organization to use the full diversity of those stakeholders for tasks such as problem-solving, innovation, quality initiatives, and the acquisition of resources. Diversity and inclusion Read more

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Changing Your Grantmaking Lens: Aging as an Asset

This article discusses how all funders, regardless of their grantmaking mission or geographic focus, would be wise to begin adjusting their strategies to a changing society with a rapidly expanding component of older adults.

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Data Collection on the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity of the Staff and Trustees of Foundations

An important first step toward inclusiveness is collecting data on the sexual orientation and gender identity of the staff and trustees of foundations. This brief guide provides some best practices for foundations exploring the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time.

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DEI Self-Assessment

This self-assessment is a tool for identifying areas of work that your foundation is already engaged in and opportunities for growth. We invite you to complete the assessment to: Capture your foundation’s current situation Spark conversations about DEI and what is possible Identify tangible action steps that will improve your foundation’s effectiveness and strengthen its relevance in our increasingly diverse society

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Diverse Managers: Philanthropy’s Next Hurdle

This white paper outlines best practices with proven results that foundations can use to find and create a diverse and inclusive staff and investment advisory team. Readers will learn how to make the business case for more diverse and equitable strategies and link success in this area with investment results. Readers will also learn about ABFE’s Investment Manager Diversity Pledge that foundations and endowments can undertake to ensure that their organizations adopt inclusive practices encouraging managers of diverse ethnicity and gender to compete for positions in endowment management.  

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Diversity & Inclusion Action Kit

The Action Kit, designed around the Diversity Framework, is intended to help you identify what steps you and your organization can take to advance diversity and inclusion.

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Equity: is Your Foundation Ready to Invest in Building Opportunity for All?

Research shows that one of the greatest impediments to a prosperous future for all of Michigan’s people is unequal access to resources. To help foundation leaders and their boards begin essential conversations about marginalized populations and determine the extent to which their organization’s culture and grantmaking practices are aligned with a commitment to expanding opportunity in the communities they serve, CMF developed this discussion guide and self-assessment.

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Gill Foundation: Strategically Funding the LGBT Civil Rights Movement

Former Gill Foundation Executive Director Rodger MacFarlane describes Gill’s strategic approach to funding the LGBT civil rights movement. He shares details of the Foundation’s strategic planning process and subsequent restructuring to better serve its grantees and advance its mission. This video was produced by CEP to complement the Gill Foundation case study in CEP’s 2007 report on foundation strategy, “Beyond the Rhetoric: Foundation Strategy.”

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How Are Foundations Communicating Their Work on Diversity? A Case Study

This report explains how foundations can start using new media sources to communicate diversity and how foundations might benefit from partnerships with other organizations and community members. In the end, we hope to encourage a discussion about best practices and whether such a platform is appropriate, given the challenges that emerge through discussions with the interviewees.

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How Inclusion and Equity Are Transforming a Foundation and a Community

Racial inequities in health care, education, incarceration rates and economic stability have persisted, in spite of federal policies to promote equity. The Denver Foundation launched what is now known as the Inclusiveness Project in 2002 to help nonprofits, including funders, become more inclusive of people of color. The Project defines diversity as one component of inclusiveness; inclusive organizations are defined as learning-centered organizations that value the perspectives and contributions of all people. The Project operates on three levels: individual, organizational and sector. An extensive evaluation has shown that there are impacts at all levels, including increasing the number of people Read more

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Investment Manager Diversity: The Hardest Taboo to Break

This case study examines how one community foundation — Silicon Valley Community Foundation with assets under management of $4.7 billion — approached the issue of increasing investment manager diversity with its investment advisor — Colonial Consulting which advises $30 billion of capital. These first-person accounts from the community foundation’s CEO and the investment advisor provide candid assessments of how they addressed the issue of increasing investment manager diversity. The hope is that by sharing these observations other foundations and their investment advisors will find the courage to discuss and address the issue of investment manager diversity, the hardest taboo to Read more

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Is Your Foundation Leveraging the Power of Differences?

Based on extensive research and experience emerging from its Transforming Michigan Philanthropy initiative, the Council of Michigan Foundations has developed this discussion guide and assessment tool to help foundation leaders begin essential conversations about the power of differences and determine the level of their organization’s readiness for growth.

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Leadership Insights: What Foundation Executives and Trustees are Saying About Diversity and Inclusion

This video series features leaders sharing insights about their organizational journey to become more diverse and inclusive and lessons learned along the way.

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Lessons Learned in Addressing Racial Equity in Foundations

This report, commissioned by the Diversity in Philanthropy Project and the Race and Equity in Philanthropy Group, highlights the experiences of REPG members to show what it takes to effectively incorporate racial equity into foundation priorities and systems.

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Leverage the Trust

Leverage the Trust is an effort to identify and engage Black foundation trustees in ABFE’s mission through peer networking and learning opportunities. The work of Leverage the Trust is led by a committee of dedicated trustees of philanthropic institutions that are representative of the diversity of geography, type, and size of grantmaking entities in the sector.

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Moving Diversity Up the Agenda: Lessons and Next Steps From the Diversity in Philanthropy Project

The Diversity in Philanthropy Project (DPP) was a three-year, voluntary effort of foundation trustees, senior staff, and executives of philanthropy support organizations committed to increasing diversity and inclusive practice across organized philanthropy’s boards, staff, grantmaking, contracting, and investing. DPP had significant achievements, including mobilizing greater commitment among foundation leaders to voluntary action on diversity and enhancing both the knowledge base and data methodologies available for understanding diversity, inclusion, and equity in foundation work. The initiative also faced its share of challenges, including difficulty assessing the impact on the diversity performance of foundations, slow adoption of recommended principles and practices, and Read more

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Nondiscrimination Policy

This guide discusses how an important step toward inclusiveness is explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. This guide is intended to help your institution implement a nondiscrimination and equal opportunity employment policy that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

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Policies, Practices, and Programs for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This tool is useful for foundation staff, leadership and other members of the philanthropy community who want to take action to advance DEI. It provides a comprehensive scan of existing written and web-based resources from philanthropy and the more general fields of organizational effectiveness and social justice in order to identify existing policies, practices, and tools that can inform and guide philanthropic action.

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Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide

Advancing race equity and inclusion can sometimes seem daunting and often leaves many wondering how and where to start. One way to achieve social change in an organization is to incorporate race equity and inclusion at every stage of work. The seven steps in this guide provide a clear framework for undertaking this important work. This tool adds to the resources already created by partners who have been working in the field. It works by demonstrating how a race equity lens can be adopted by foundations or other organizations that work directly with systems, technical assistance providers and communities.

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Ten Ways for Family Foundations to Consider Diversity and Inclusive Practices

This guide is designed to help foundations consider how more diverse and inclusive practices might advance their mission by making their work more effective and more reflective of communities served.

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The Alliance magazine September issue – Philanthropy’s diversity challenge

Philanthropy’s diversity challenge ‘Nothing about us without us’ was a slogan coined by disability rights activists to communicate the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group(s) affected. Many working in philanthropy would be sympathetic to this principle. Being in touch with the people you aim to serve is not just a sound moral imperative but also likely to make an effective philanthropic strategy. A lack of diversity on boards and at staff level ‘probably limits their intelligence about what is happening on the ground’ notes European Foundation Centre Chief Executive, Gerry Salole, who suggests that foundations would be well advised to Read more

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The Road to Achieving Equity 12 Findings from a Field Scan of Foundations That Are Embracing Equity

Over the past few years, equity has emerged as a key issue in American society, described as the “defining issue of our time” by authors and speakers in various fields. In the first half of 2016, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked Putnam Consulting Group to conduct a field scan to learn how other foundations are working to incorporate equity — both in their internal operations and in their grantmaking. We conducted 30 conversations with staff leaders at 15 foundations considered by their peers to be on the forefront in embracing equity.

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Vision and Voice: The Role of Leadership and Dialogue in Advancing Diversity, Equity, and inclusion

This year-long study surfaced two key findings for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion — organizational culture is central; and leaders need support from peer networks. The study also surfaced corresponding practical lessons: Leadership, from the CEO in particular, is critical to advance this work. Changing an organizational culture requires leaders to foster an environment that encourages learning. Talking with board and staff about race, sexual orientation, disability, class and other forms of inequality is difficult and complex, but essential. Experimenting is good, particularly when it comes to policies and practices to recruit and retain diverse candidates. Sharing life experiences builds trust. Read more

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