Our communities deserve more than good intentions. And yet, across the philanthropy sector, aspirations are slow to turn into action. At the McKnight Foundation, we recognize PEAK’s leadership in advancing equitable, effective grantmaking practices across philanthropy. The Principles for Peak Grantmaking aim to move philanthropy from conversation to action, toward values-driven, equity-centered, practice-based change. Our new Equity in Action report documents examples of shifts we’ve made to back up our words with actions. In the past three years, we’ve made progress through policy changes and in how we move money, use our voice, make grants, convene others, and work with vendors. We hope by sharing our progress toward equity, in both big and small ways, that we will inspire others to do the same.

Here are a few examples of how we are now living each of the Principles for Peak grantmaking.

Tie Practices to Values. We know the importance of linking our grantmaking practices with our values when it comes to advancing our mission. In 2018, McKnight released the organization’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement to formally articulate our values and how they relate to our overall mission.

Narrow the Power Gap. PEAK calls on grantmakers to narrow the power gap between grantmakers and grant applicants, and value equally the resources each brings to the partnership. McKnight has taken this approach in how we design and implement our grantmaking programs.

Drive Equity. PEAK calls on grantmakers to assess their systems and adjust them to minimize bias and support decisions that promote justice, inclusion, and equity. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, McKnight intentionally shifted its approach to arts funding, broadening the portfolio of organizations and projects that work to eliminate deep and persistent cultural, economic, and racial barriers.

Steward Responsively. Acting as a responsible steward means staying responsive to our partners’ needs in a changing world.

Learn, Share, Evolve. As PEAK calls on all grantmakers to do, we are committed to designing practices that promote learning and sharing our knowledge sector-wide.

Read the full article about driving equity in grantmaking by Kara Inae Carlisle, Stephanie Duffy, and Na Eng at PEAK Grantmaking.