Giving Compass' Take:
- Lean funders reflect on the last year of charitable giving practices and how they changed their strategies to position themselves to focus on racial equity in philanthropy.
- How can you shift your mindset, practices, and strategies as a donor to meet the needs of this moment?
- Learn more about embracing a racial equity and justice lens.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Last year was riddled with loss. The pandemic changed how many funders practice philanthropy; and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black, Indigenous and people of color by police—and the ensuing protests—put race equity front and center for many funders.
While some lean funders had already integrated race equity into their work, the events of last year increased this focus. We asked members of the Exponent Philanthropy community to reflect on their race equity work in 2020, and how they see it continuing in 2021.
Of the funders who responded to our survey, just over a third (35%) said they changed their giving last year as a result of reflecting on race equity. All plan to do internal and external work related to race equity this year. And some funders are examining how their own work may have unintentionally contributed to inequities.
Some of the race equity based changes funders implemented in 2020 include:
- Converting existing grants to more flexible funds (for example, converting project grants to general operating support grants)
- Delaying or postponing reporting deadlines
- Making additional grants to existing grantees
- Board completed training and/or self-assessments on racial equity related topics (e.g., cultural competency, implicit bias)
- Employees completed training and/or self-assessments on racial equity related topics (e.g., cultural competency, implicit bias)
- Accepting proposals written for other foundations/funders
- Asking grantees to disaggregate their data by demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race and ethnicity)
As we move into 2021 and beyond, race equity work will continue to be an important area for funders of all shapes and sizes. Take the time to reflect on the work you’ve done already, and celebrate your wins, but also recognize where you’ve fallen short. Ask yourself, did you make any changes in 2020 that helped promote race equity in your community or funding area? And are there places where you can push yourself in 2021 to have a greater impact?
Read the full article about funders focusing on racial equity by Brendan McCormick at Exponent Philanthropy.