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.

  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Two Years into Our Journey - Lessons in listening and humility

    What started out two years ago as a simple “strategic plan refresh” quickly became a completely new direction for Blue Shield of California Foundation in our journey to make California the healthiest state and to end domestic violence. This post, which originally appeared on the Blue Shield of California Foundation's website, reflects on key lessons of listening, equity and humility.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2019
  • Perspective

    My Journey to GEO

    Throughout my career, I have committed myself to service. First, as a community organizer, nonprofit practitioner and grantmaker; then, as a leadership coach, racial equity trainer and executive, I eagerly attempted to test and learn strategies for cultivating thriving communities. The cumulative impact of these experiences has informed a personal vision grounded in a strong desire to lead change in society in a manner that leverages the collective wisdom of each person, family and institution.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2019
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Are Search Firms Doing Their Best to Practice Racially-Equitable Nonprofit Searches?

    This post originally appeared on Fund the People's website and discusses white dominance in nonprofit professional searches. To read the full post, visit Fund the People's blog at http://fundthepeople.org/searchfirms.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2019
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Candid Announces Inaugural #OpenForGood Award Winners

    As part of the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Learning Conference 2019, Candid announced the inaugural recipients of the #OpenForGood Award, which is designed to recognize and encourage foundations to openly share what they learn so we can all get collectively smarter. The three winning foundations each demonstrate an active commitment to open knowledge and share their evaluations through IssueLab, an open repository that is free, searchable, and accessible to all. Selected by an external committee from a globally sourced nomination process, the committee reviewed the contenders looking for evidence of an active commitment to open knowledge, creative approaches to making knowledge shareable, field leadership, and incorporating community insights into knowledge sharing work. And the winners are...

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • August 2019
  • Perspective

    Lessons Learned from a Multilevel Capacity-Building Approach to Center Race in Health Equity Advocacy in Colorado

    The Colorado Trust recently released a learning paper on their cohort model approach to advancing health equity. This blog post describes a multilevel framework developed by the Cohort’s Racial Equity Team (“the Team”) to build the field’s capacity to understand and advance racial equity. We briefly describe these capacity-building efforts and highlight lessons learned through their implementation. We encourage readers to consult a recently released learning paper for more information or join GEO for a webinar on August 29, 2019.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • August 2019

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