Thursday, May 17, 2012

Report Cites Best Practices, Resources to Make Philanthropy More Effective

Leadership, Funding, and Data Key to Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CHICAGO – D5 has released State of the Work 2012, a report tracking efforts over the past year to recruit new foundation leaders who more closely reflect U.S. demographic trends; increase funding within diverse communities; and become more transparent about data collection to track the progress of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the sector. To view the full report, click here:

“We need philanthropy to look more like America, so we can better respond to the complex issues facing Americans today,” said Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO, W. K. Kellogg Foundation. “The 2012 State of the Work report shows how far we’ve come and the lessons learned along the way—and will help inform our strategies moving forward. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that philanthropy, as a sector, can really have impact and drive meaningful change in our communities. But we’re on our way.”

D5 was launched in 2010 to help foundations achieve greater impact in an increasingly diverse world. It is comprised of community, corporate, family and independent foundations, as well as other philanthropic organizations.

“Philanthropy is in the change business; it is what we do and with this report, we wanted to show that implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives is doable, innovative, and supports our common goals,” said Kelly Brown, executive director of D5.

State of the Work 2012 offers innovative examples of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at work, including:

A growing number of regional associations of grantmakers are working to establish stronger links with diverse communities so that foundation CEOs, executives and boards of trustees better reflect the nation’s diversity regarding race and ethnicity, gender, LGBT communities, and people with disabilities. The work of these associations is a key part of the strategy for growing a national alliance of 200 leaders who can instill a coordinated, sector-wide approach to diversifying foundation decision-makers.

The Association of Black Foundation Executives is offering knowledge and practical tools to create successful funding strategies, through its Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities Toolkit that includes an organizational self-assessment, and a racial equity impact analysis to support black foundation trustees in their efforts to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in black communities.

A partnership between Philanthropy Northwest, Native Americans in Philanthropy, and the Potlatch Fund, the first community foundation of Native Americans focused on grantmaking in Indian Country, became an opportunity for learning, better connections and mutual trust to achieve more equitable funding strategies.

In the year ahead, D5 learning and implementation activities will include leadership development efforts of affinity groups and other partners, capacity building for population-focused funds through the Philanthropic Inclusion Fund, and support for additional regional diversity studies.

“Foundations want practical tools for engaging in this work and examples of how others have done it, accounting for differences in grantmaker type, asset size, staffing size, and regional circumstances,” said Judy Belk, senior vice president, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. “Identifying new diversity models and programs has educational and coalition-building value in that many of the developers of good policies and practices have become essential leaders in D5’s broad efforts to help philanthropy increase its effectiveness in a changing world.”

About D5
D5 envisions a philanthropic sector in which foundations draw on the power of diverse staffs and boards to achieve lasting impact, forge genuine partnerships with diverse communities, and increase access to opportunities for all people. Formed in 2010, D5 represents the collective efforts of dozens of leading foundations, regional associations of grantmakers, joint affinity groups, and philanthropic infrastructure organizations. D5 is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

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