Members discuss smarter grantmaking practices.

What We Care About

Equity

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

    Learning What Works: Practitioners Leading with Equity

    Charles E. Carter of Project Evident shared reflections from his experience at the Equitable Evaluation Teaching Case workshop and insights from Project Evident's new DEI Evidence Matrix, a tool that can support the alignment of key stakeholders and the intentional building of diversity, equity and inclusion into evidence and evaluation practices.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • January 2020
  • Perspective

    Racial Equity and the Role of Foundations

    The Consumer Health Foundation has long embedded racial equity in its programs, policies and practices. Kendra Allen, program associate with the foundation, breaks down the activities and elements they use in their approach toward racial equity.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2019
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Reflections on Un-Learning

    The Associations Advancing Equitable Evaluation Practices (AAEEP) came together earlier this year to support and advance equitable evaluation study and practice. As a part of this commitment, we offered a webinar sharing experiences of two foundations, Kresge and the Oregon Community Foundation, who are testing the waters of equitable evaluation. Kate Seely from Northern California Grantmakers shares reflections from the webinar.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2019
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Two Years into Our Journey - Lessons in listening and humility

    What started out two years ago as a simple “strategic plan refresh” quickly became a completely new direction for Blue Shield of California Foundation in our journey to make California the healthiest state and to end domestic violence. This post, which originally appeared on the Blue Shield of California Foundation's website, reflects on key lessons of listening, equity and humility.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2019
  • Perspective

    My Journey to GEO

    Throughout my career, I have committed myself to service. First, as a community organizer, nonprofit practitioner and grantmaker; then, as a leadership coach, racial equity trainer and executive, I eagerly attempted to test and learn strategies for cultivating thriving communities. The cumulative impact of these experiences has informed a personal vision grounded in a strong desire to lead change in society in a manner that leverages the collective wisdom of each person, family and institution.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2019

Upcoming Events

  • Member Calls

    Strengthening Wellbeing in the Nonprofit Sector

    In the social sector, calls are growing for greater attention and resources for self- and collective care within organizations and movements. Limited resources for nonprofits and a difficult political climate increase risks of conflict, stress, burnout, and trauma, ultimately affecting organizational strength and capacity to foster social change. In this upcoming member call, we will explore the role of the philanthropic community in supporting the wellbeing and resilience of grantee partners.

    • February 2020
  • GEO in the Field

    Participation, Power, Philanthropy: Putting Nonprofits and Communities in the Driver's Seat

    In this session at the PEAK Grantmaking Conference, we will explore what it looks like to have nonprofits and communities drive our work, how much participation is required to center out work on what the community tells us they need and how we can be advocates for this approach to philanthropy.

    • March 2020
  • Conferences

    2020 National Conference

    Hosted in partnership with Philanthropy Massachusetts, the 2020 National Conference provides participants with information, connections and experiences to continue improving and pursuing smarter grantmaking practices that positively impact nonprofit effectiveness.

    • April 2020

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Related Topics

Collaboration

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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Culture

Productive grantmaker culture is one that accelerates progress by supporting nonprofits to be successful.

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Strengthening Relationships

When we build trust and tap the knowledge and perspective of nonprofits and the communities we serve, we create better solutions.

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Suprotik Stotz-Ghosh

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