Giving Compass’ Take:
• Developing a mindset of inclusion with foundations can have a lasting impact on the organization and far beyond.
• What are low- or no-cost ways to develop inclusion? Can funders increase grants to including money to boost inclusion?
• Learn about the urgent need for disability-inclusive development.
Twenty percent of people have a disability. This figure includes both disabilities that are physical and those that are invisible, such as learning disabilities and mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
I point out these intersections and statistics because funders need not change their agenda to focus on disability and inclusion — it is almost a certainty that their work already touches people with disabilities. Funders can, however, intentionally acknowledge these complex realities through their grantmaking practices.
First, though, it’s important that funders prioritize disability inclusion within their own walls. At the Ruderman Family Foundation, where I work as a program officer, we promote a holistic approach to inclusion, recognizing that inclusion need not be an isolated program or physical development within a building. Rather, we believe inclusion can permeate all aspects of an organization — including our own — and we do our best to model that holistic approach by hiring employees with disabilities and prioritizing accessibility at all of our events.
Beyond making changes within our own organizations, we as funders can take such a view of inclusion and disseminate it to grantees by working with them creatively and holistically. Funders are in the unique position to push grantee organizations “outside the box” of the explicitly stated purpose of a grant.
Read the full article about inclusion by Miriam Heyman at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.
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