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.

  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Resources for Philanthropic Board Development with an Equity Lens

    I'm wondering if any of you have insights, processes, or resources to share on board development with an equity lens?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2018
  • Perspective

    Findings from GEO’s Language Survey

    In 2018 and 2019, GEO is developing a publication, workshop and conference to help grantmakers think through what it takes to do this work well. As we embarked on the development of these programs, the language around these topics proved tricky. Nonprofit partners told us that phrases like “grantee inclusion” are frustrating because they reinforce power dynamics and define nonprofits by their relationship to a funder. In addition, language that doesn’t encompass both nonprofits and community members doesn’t reflect the entirety of our goals. Other organizations working on similar issues shared their own struggles with the lexicon. So, we reached out to our contacts, including members, other grantmakers and nonprofits, to help inform the language we use moving forward. Here is a summary of the key results of that survey.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2018
  • Perspective

    Perspective Matters

    After three years of working to expand the bench of evaluators, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has learned a few things. In sharing those lessons, we invite others in philanthropy to join us as we apply them to our work. Connect with Foundation staff through an upcoming GEO Member Call or directly to discuss other ways to engage in expanding the bench.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2018
  • Related Materials Members Only

    GEO’s Resources on Equity

    In your first year of GEO membership, to help you stay informed of the emerging trends and promising practices from the field, we'll point you to GEO's publications, research and peer conversations. Below, find some of GEO’s tools and resources on equity. We hope these are helpful as you explore how GEO can support your work.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2018
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Evaluation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Capacity Building Initiative in the Arts

    In addition to advancing EDI in our own work and that of our grant partners, we want to share learnings from the Diversity in Theater initiative with the broader theater community and other funders working at the intersection of arts and social justice. Have you taken on a similar learning, evaluation, and field-building initiative at your foundation? If so, would you be willing to share your process and approach with us, including potential pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to explore?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2018

Upcoming Events

  • Remote Learning and Webinars

    Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

    Are you a grantmaker interested in learning more about specific tactics, strategies and best practices around race equity? If so, you’ll want to join us for this webinar on February 20, 2019, built on research in Equity in the Center’s “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture” publication.

    • February 2019
  • Conferences

    2020 National Conference

    • April 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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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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