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.

  • Publication

    Reevaluating Practice: Reimagining Philanthropy

    This report is a final offering to philanthropy from the Hazen Foundation and its nonprofit partners. The report includes grantee recommendations for funder partnerships that advance a more effective and sustainable movement for social justice.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2024
  • Perspective

    Important Update on #GEO2024 National Conference Date and Location

    We’re writing today with an important update regarding GEO’s 2024 National Conferences in Los Angeles. With the support of the conference host committee, program committee and the GEO board, we made the decision to cancel our contract with the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live in solidarity with the hotel workers. Our conference will now take place on May 20 – 23, 2024 at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • December 2023
  • Perspective

    Crosspost: Centering lived experience: Unlocking the preconditions for equity-rooted evaluation

    Kresge Strategic Learning and Evaluation Officer Arturo Garcia moderated a session at the 2023 Learning Conference of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), exploring the preconditions for centering equity in evaluation.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2023
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Seeking survey instrument to gather baseline data on DEI within a funder

    Hello GEO community, I am hoping you can help. As part of our racial equity learning journey, we’re looking to survey our staff to get an understanding of their awareness & perceptions of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and ideas for where we should go next in terms of centering racial equity in how we operate as an organization and in how we do grantmaking (strategies, policies and practices). We’ve got lots of good guides and resources, like the one put out by GEO. Right now, what would be most helpful is actual survey instruments (e.g., survey questions, survey framing, etc) that you’ve used at your philanthropic organization? Thanks in advance for considering and for sharing,

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2023
  • Publication

    A Change Management & Deep Equity Primer: The What, Why, How & Nuance

    This publication from Movement Tapestries offers insights and guidance for organizations navigating equity-embedded transformations, and the challenges that can come with embarking on such journeys.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • January 2023

Upcoming Events

  • Remote Learning and Webinars

    Foundations of Racial Equity

    Join GEO, Northern California Grantmakers and Philanthropy California for a series that provides training for philanthropic practitioners to understand how anti-Black racism and white supremacy influence the field of philanthropy and our practices and to provide opportunities for action in your organizations based on what you learn.

    • April 2024
  • GEO in the Field

    GEO Networking Event and Strategic Direction Discussion

    Join Grantmakers for Effective Organizations at an in-person networking event at The Garden Theater in Detroit, Michigan. Come to build relationships and connect with your peers, and to learn more about GEO's new strategic direction. Beverages and light bites will be provided. Monday, April 29th from 4:30pm - 6:30pm at The Garden Theater 3929 Woodward Ave Detroit MI 48201

    • April 2024
  • GEO in the Field

    Collective Impact Action Summit

    The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, is hosting the annual Collective Impact Action Summit.

    • April 2024

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