GEOList Summary: Collecting Applicant Demographic Data

  • Bo Dorsey, March 29, 2022

In 2021 we piloted the collection of applicant staff and board demographic data (race/ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation) in partnership with our evaluation partner, as one step to understand who our grants were going to and how applicant organizations were representative of the communities they and we want to be serving. It was not mandatory and doesn’t look it will be next year either. But, we are taking feedback and trying to understand how we can be more supportive of our grantees in 1) collecting this information in a safe and appropriate way and 2) using this information appropriately to reflect and strategize on what potential gaps there may be in representation within their own organizations. We haven’t done a ton in that second space, but wanted to reach out more about the mechanics of the data collection process to understand if and what others are doing. Some questions: Are you collecting demographic data from staff and/or boards of applicant organizations? If so, what is the method or conduit for which you do this? Is the applicant responsible for getting all of their data and putting it into the application/portal or a spreadsheet of sorts? Are there any third party programs or software that allow for collecting and aggregating data this data? We also heard that organizations, and particularly the people responsible for submitting application information, would appreciate an opportunity for anonymity for themselves and their coworkers within the data collection process. Has anyone seen any tools, or know of any strategies that allow for the organization to anonymously collect this data from their own orgs?

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