Giving Compass’ Take:
• On GrantCraft, reps for ¡Milwaukee Evaluation! Inc. and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation examine the features of culturally responsive grantmaking: It requires an open dialogue.
• We can start by understanding power imbalances better and listening to other perspectives. In evaluations, we should make sure we’re using language that’s accessible to constituents.
When deciding to co-host a panel discussion on culturally responsive grantmaking and evaluation last year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we had to confront some ugly truths. Too often grantmakers, decision-makers, and program evaluators do not understand the day-to-day realities of people living in the communities with unrelenting social, political, racial, and economic inequity — those they seek to impact.
When engaging the conversation of “racial equity” and all things “evidence-based,” for example, philanthropy and program evaluators have at their disposal a new set of scholarly topics to explore, terms to master, and tools to use. But, these topics require we ask some hard questions before jumping into action: Has the sector fundamentally and structurally balanced power with our grantee partners and the communities they represent? Where equity goals are at stake, is philanthropy as a sector, willing to shift real control of agenda-setting, program content, and the use of resources to the communities themselves? Is the sector supporting evaluation teams that can effectively address legacies of white supremacy and other historic institutions of power in their quest for credible evidence? And, are they supporting teams with evaluators who come from, live near, or have daily personal contact with the target population of grant-funded interventions?
As it relates to the philanthropic sector, meaningful impact can come from Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE) as part of sound grant-making when pursuing equity goals.
Read the full article about pursuing equity in grantmaking by Emily Connors, Nicole Robinson and Lamont Smith at GrantCraft.
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