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.

  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Support grantee cohorts that speak different languages?

    Do you know of any examples or best practices on how to serve grantee cohorts and grantees when they speak different languages? Democracy Fund is part of a state funder collaborative in North Carolina that will support a cohort of local news and information nonprofits through grants, and probably will have at least one organization that has leaders that speak primarily Spanish. We also are hoping to support some convenings, as well as other types of resources such as informal mentorships, readings, etc. We hope to continue to make this funder collaborative’s offerings, as well as other work we do beyond NC, more accessible to organizations that have staff and leaders that speak languages other than English. We started by making this collaborative’s application and guidelines available in Spanish, and provided an interpreter for conversations during the application process, but know that we could do more. Thanks for any thoughts, ideas, feedback or links!

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • Perspective

    Philanthropy's Debt to our Country's Biggest Region

    The southeastern U.S. is heavy with history and layered with nuanced culture that can take a lifetime to fully understand. All places have magic and secrets, but NCRP and GSP's 'As the South Grows' initiative documents the unique and hidden complexities of advancing systems change in the South.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • 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

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Collaboration

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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Culture

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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