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.

  • 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
  • Perspective

    Introducing The Sprout Fund Field Guide for Philanthropy & Civic Action

    After 17 successful years of inspiring and nurturing people with innovative, grassroots ideas to positively impact their communities, The Sprout Fund has decided to sunset in 2018. In doing so, the Pittsburgh-based organization has decided to share their lessons learned in "The Sprout Fund Field Guide for Philanthropy & Civic Action." This is part one of a two-part series sharing their lessons learned.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2018
  • Perspective

    Centering Our Website on Relationships, Accessibility and Transparency

    The Maddox Charitable Fund's original website bespoke a transactional as opposed to a visionary approach to grantmaking. Ten years later, it no longer represented who or what Maddox had become. Maddox developed a new website based on the guiding principles of relationships, accessibility and transparency.

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

    GEOList Summary: Rural Quality Improvement Collaboratives for Maternal Care and Infant Health

    I am exploring the idea of funding quality improvement collaboratives that focus on maternal care and infant health up to one year of age. I’m tossing around some ideas in my head but I would love to learn from others who have done something similar in a rural context. What were some of the lessons learned? How was the funding opportunity structured given some of the constraints in terms of providers, geographic variations and organizations?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • August 2018

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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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