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.

  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: Funding for Justice and Change

    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, social and economic injustice.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: The GEO Community at 20

    Over the last 20 years, the GEO community has worked to transform a desire for results into real improvements by creating spaces where grantmakers learn together and use that learning to drive concrete changes in the way grantmaking work gets done. As a field, we've made progress. And, as we continue learning together, our understanding of effective philanthropy evolves.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: Automating Austerity

    Virginia Eubanks, professor at the University at Albany, SUNY and author of Automating Inequality offered lessons from twenty years of research and reporting on the use of digital tools in public service programs to place the big data revolution in its political and economic context.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: Creating Space for Systems Change

    Raj Jayadev of Silicon Valley De-Bug shared how De-Bug has been transforming the criminal justice system using a "participatory defense" approach that empowers families and community members to sway the result of court cases. He suggested ways grantmakers can support systems change work led by nonprofits and communities, and how creating space allows for the innovation that's needed to tackle oppressive systems and institutions.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: Stories as Catalysts for Widespread Change

    American culture and narratives are rooted in a collective ambivalence about how we formed this country - in both oppression and opportunity; open doors to some, closed to others; welcoming from afar but often discriminatory day-to-day. But traditional messaging campaigns and op-eds aren't generally effective at moving people toward a greater sense of shared fate.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018

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