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

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  • 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 engagement of field stakeholders that was good but not good enough.
  • DPP yielded lessons that are being applied in the development of an effort to create and implement a sustained diversity strategy for the field involving a broad coalition of leading philanthropy organizations and networks. That five-year initiative in diversity – called “D5” – represents DPP’s most significant outcome.

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