Giving Compass' Take:

• In an interview with TriplePundit, Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey shares significant hurdles for leaders of color, such as developing equitable networks of access within the philanthropic community. 

• How can you help leaders of color with these challenges? How can individuals donors create more access to philanthropic networks? 

• Read more about Echoing Green's research on racial inequities in philanthropic funding. 

As discussed yesterday, the world of philanthropy wields powerful influence, but that generosity often leaves out people of color. Two of the biggest factors holding back philanthropy’s quest for social change are rooted in race, according to recent research from Echoing Green and The Bridgespan Group. One is understanding the role of race in the problems that philanthropists are trying to solve. The second is the significance of race when it comes to how philanthropists identify leaders and find solutions.

“We found a clear barrier is getting connected—that leaders of color need equitable access to social networks that enable these vital connections to the philanthropic community,” said Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey in a recent interview with TriplePundit.

“This came up time and time again in our conversations with leaders. A leader of color is invited to a conference, for example—I’ve experienced this myself—and at the end of the conference, you find out there was a meeting within the meeting,” Dorsey added. “A small group of funders invited a small group of nonprofit leaders to meet at the hotel bar or to go out to dinner, and the leader of color just didn't have access to that invitation or that conversation, which was directly correlated with their inability to build these relationships that lead to funding.”

Another barrier people of color face in the philanthropy community is the difficulty in building rapport with funders. “Even if you can get connected to these funders, there are all sorts of ways that interpersonal bias can show up and inhibit the ability to build trusting relationships between a funder and a leader of color,” Dorsey said.

The research by Echoing Green and Bridgespan recommended three steps, or three “gets,” for donors to remedy these barriers:

  1. Get proximate
  2. Get reflective
  3. Get accountable

Read the full article about philanthropy and lack of access by Amy Brown at TriplePundit.