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

    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
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Are Search Firms Doing Their Best to Practice Racially-Equitable Nonprofit Searches?

    This post originally appeared on Fund the People's website and discusses white dominance in nonprofit professional searches. To read the full post, visit Fund the People's blog at http://fundthepeople.org/searchfirms.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2019

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