Members discuss smarter grantmaking practices.

What We Care About


No matter the outcome we are working toward, our institutions and systems were built to advantage some but not all — and data shows that inequities persist to this day. These inequities become more apparent when we take race into account.

GEO has made a commitment to focus on racial equity in grantmaking with the intention of including other dimensions, such as ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and disabilities as we move further along in this work.

The ultimate goal of grantmaking is to help nonprofits grow stronger to make faster progress on complex issues within our communities. To achieve our vision for individuals and communities, grantmakers must work to address the historic, emerging, dynamic and collective forces at work to suppress racial justice. We as grantmakers inherently do our work from a position of privilege. Actively working to responsibly use our position of privilege to address inequity is the bedrock of effective grantmaking.

We can all find more ways to close the gap between our aspirations and our daily actions. To that end, GEO is creating spaces for these conversations, highlighting resources and stories from those who are already making great strides, and incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of our work.

As a predominantly white organization working in a predominantly white field, GEO has made a commitment to learning and improving internally to better support our members and the field. Steps taken so far include all-staff participation in ABFE’s Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities training, establishing an internal vision and goals for our organization, the formation of an internal working group to guide and support our work, hiring a senior advisor on racial equity to bring additional capacity and expertise, and prioritizing relationship building with colleague organizations who have long been providing leadership on racial equity for the field of philanthropy.

You don’t do equity, you be equity, and at every moment you have an opportunity to choose equity.

Raquel Gutierrez, director, strategic learning and practice, Vitalyst Health Foundation

Helpful Tools and Resources

Stay informed of the emerging trends and promising practices from the field of philanthropy through GEO’s publications and research.

  • Perspective

    Staff Reflections: Growing a Movement for Trans Liberation

    Nicole Fernandes of Funders for LGBTQ Issues shares three takeaways on how philanthropy can support growing movements for trans liberation.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2021
  • Perspective

    Making the Case for the Equitable Evaluation Framework™

    Funders Together, GEO, PEAK, and SCG are excited to co-host and launch the Making the Case Collaboratory with our members and the Equitable Evaluation Initiative.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2021
  • Perspective

    The Imperative of Foundation Board Diversity

    Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, unpacks the imperative of foundation board diversity.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • January 2021
  • Perspective

    What Next? Gearing Up for the Long Fight for an Inclusive, Equitable Democracy

    2020 underscores what many of us in the social change field have been arguing for some time: the fight for a truly inclusive, equitable democracy and economy is a long one.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • December 2020
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Grant Approval Thresholds

    Hello Colleagues, We are in the process of evaluating our grant thresholds for what our President/CEO and program staff can approve and what grant requests go before our grants committee. Can you please share what amounts (grants under a certain dollar amount) you are able to approve through staff? Looking forward to learning from you!

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2020

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No organization has the resources to address the complex issues facing our communities. Working together gives us an opportunity to create real change.

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