Giving Compass' Take:

• Elly Davis at PEAK Grantmaking recommends to collect, analyze, and use disaggregated demographic data to advance equity and impact.

• Successfully collecting, analyzing and using demographic data to improve grantmaking is challenging. How can your philanthropy best understand the demographics of the communities you seek to impact?

Here's why demographic data matters. 

Despite a growing focus on equity in grantmaking, nonprofits led by and serving diverse populations remain chronically underfunded, and equitable positive outcomes for those populations remain elusive. A major reason: the failure to account for demographics, especially race.

Every philanthropic organization has an intended impact in the world and has designed grantmaking strategies meant to achieve that impact. Those same organizations often have publicly-stated values around diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, our research has shown that many grantmakers still believe that they don’t need to know – or can make a best guess about – the demographic data of the people they are serving in order to determine if they are achieving their desired impact.

We believe that it is impossible to live up to values of diversity, equity, and inclusion; to design effective strategies; and to accurately assess impact, without first understanding the demographics of the communities you seek to impact. Remaining “identity blind” (i.e., across race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, faith, nationality, ability) in grantmaking simply prevents any real assessment of a foundation’s progress toward equity.

Read the full article about driving equity with demographic data by Elly Davis at PEAK Grantmaking.