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

    Facing a World without Roe: How Effective Grantmaking Combats Inequity

    Here at GEO, we envision and are co-creating a community of courageous grantmakers working in service of nonprofits and communities to create a just, connected and inclusive society where we can all thrive.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • May 2022
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: States/Funders with Funding Priorities Using A Racial Equity Lens

    Hello – we are wondering if any of you know of states and/or funders that have already developed funding priorities using a racial equity lens and/or prioritized communities hardest hit by the pandemic? Thanks! Best Ken

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2022
  • Perspective

    Crosspost: In the Test Kitchen: Grantmaking Insights to Chew On

    As a spend down foundation, how the Stupski Foundation shows up is critical to how they think about the kind of funder they want to be and the steps they take to live that vision.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2022
  • Perspective

    Language is a Key to Reducing Health Disparities

    Language is powerful. Using clear and direct language to describe the populations we seek to serve is a small but critical step towards achieving health equity.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2022
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Seeking recommendations for strategic planning consultants specializing in racial equity

    Good Morning, I recently searched the GEOlist archives for an answer to my question, however, it seems like I am the first to inquire about this specific subject matter. My question is: The John R. Oishei Foundation, located in Buffalo, NY will embark on a strategic planning process in 2022 and to further advance our racial equity initiative, we are looking for a consultant with DEI+J experience. For those who have recently worked with a strategic planning consultant specializing in racial equity or partnered with a DEI+J facilitator to compliment the learning process, could you please share your experience and the firms/individuals you’ve engaged to guide your organization’s decision-making? Thank you. I think this is a great question to hear more from the member base on how they are approaching strategic planning with a racial equity lens. Please let me know if you need anything else from my end.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2022

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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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