Giving Compass’ Take:
• After the Nellie Mae Education Foundation conducted an equity assessment, they were were forced to re-evaluate the organization through a new lens. They share their six insights.
• Can other foundations benefit from equity assessments? How can influencers in equity help foundations look at their own work through this lens?
• Equity work can be applied to various fields, even in the creation of sustainable cities.
Since the Nellie Mae Education Foundation began our journey through an equity assessment process over a year ago, we’ve been taking a hard look in the mirror to examine the way we operate, structure our grantmaking, and organize our strategy.
- NMEF’s Big Goal — 80% College and Career Readiness for New England Students by 2030 — holds promise, but our current approaches to grantmaking block the full integration of an equity analysis, thus limiting its ability to influence all of our efforts.
- Student-centered learning holds potential resonance with equity, but thus far has not fulfilled that potential and possibly poses some barriers.
- NMEF can bring a more consistent equity lens to its grantmaking practices.
- NMEF’s organizational structure and culture can cause challenges to equity being integrated into strategy and practice across the foundation.
- We have the potential to lead with both boldness and humility to advance equity in the region.
- Board and staff have growing capacity for equity and require steadfast attention and investment in this learning.
As a result of these findings, Nellie Mae staff have been immersed in continuous learning about how racial equity informs all of our work, and recently shared some of these learnings at our March Board of Directors meeting.
Read the full article about equity assessments by Nick Donahue at Medium.
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