Giving Compass' Take:

Triangle Community Foundation explains why equity matters in philanthropy and provides insights into implementing more equitable practices.

What are you currently doing to advance equity in your philanthropy? How can you increase your efforts? 

Read about the role of senior leaders in building a race equity culture.


What is equity? It’s a noun, a buzzword in philanthropy, an investment term, a branch of law, a value of shares issued from a company. Had you asked me 2 years ago what equity meant, I would have told you with confidence that it means equal outcomes regardless of race, gender, ability, class, etc. But I’m learning that it means more than that, and to be honest it’s a hard thing to put words on.

Why do I think funders need to talk about equity?

  • Because philanthropic institutions hold power and resources, two tools which help reverse the systems that perpetuate inequity.
  • Because I’m not sure philanthropy would exist if there was not systemic financial inequity. If funders do our jobs right, the problems that plague our communities will be eradicated and we eventually put ourselves out of business.
  • Because philanthropy has a responsibility to the public and nonprofits, however the bread crumbs of accountability from funder to community impacted by systemic inequity may be hard to follow.
  • Because funders are not typically representative of those experiencing poverty.
  • Because intention doesn’t equal impact. Despite best intentions, implicit bias is still a reality for everyone, including funders.
  • Because I wonder if funders aren’t careful — is it possible that we could end up serving the problems of inequity instead of making the change our communities need and nonprofits are creating?

How does this show up at Triangle Community Foundation?

While this conversation is never complete, the Foundation has made (mostly internal) changes be more equitable based on feedback from nonprofits, research and best practices in philanthropy.

There are many opportunities within internal policies as well as our grantmaking and our Equity Team will be working to walk towards equity within all facets of our organization. We’re asking ourselves hard questions slowly and multiple times.

Read the full article about equity from Triangle Community Foundation at Medium.