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.

  • Perspective

    What Would It Take to Align Foundation Mission and Evaluation Practice?

    Equitable evaluation has created a critical space for reflective practice. As evaluators and researchers, we need to reflect on the notion of rigor. We all have points of view and biases that we must acknowledge. Making visible evaluation orthodoxies invites us to engage with the paradigms that tend to govern our efforts.

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

    GEOList Summary: Foundation Equity & Inclusion Statements/ Non-discrimination Policies

    I’m curious if this is a common practice and what funders have learned in the process to draft/implement these types of statements.

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

    GEOList Summary: Diversity Question on Grant Applications

    One thing they'd like to ask about is diversity of organization staff, leadership and board. How do you ask about this on your grant applications?

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

    GEOList Summary: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Studies in Nonprofits

    Richmond Memorial Health Foundation is exploring ways to better understand the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion in regional nonprofits' Boards and staff. We will likely focus on NP's with missions that are health-related

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

    GEOList Summary: Supporting Grantees on Harassment-Free Workplaces

    Are you providing resources on developing anti-harassment policies, trainings to create atmospheres free of harassment (including specific resources on sexual harassment), and ensuring organizations have systems in place for reporting incidents and investigating those reports free of retaliation?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2018

Upcoming Events

  • Conferences

    2020 National Conference

    • April 2020
  • Conferences

    Facebook Live: The GEO Community At 20 — Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

    We will be streaming three sessions from the 2018 National Conference on Facebook Live for those of you unable to join us in San Francisco! Mark your calendars to participate virtually, and don’t forget to engage with us on Twitter and Facebook using #2018GEO.

    • April 2018
  • Conferences

    2018 National Conference

    Hosted in partnership with Philanthropy California, the 2018 National Conference will provide participants with the information, connections and experiences to continue improving and pursuing smarter grantmaking practices that positively impact nonprofit effectiveness.

    • April 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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