Jan. 11, 2019—Foundations can make tangible commitments to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in ways that that go far beyond grantmaking. They can emphasize DEI in the context of foundation hiring, advocacy strategies and investments. Why bother? Because this makes their work more impactful while exemplifying their dedication to DEI principles.
The new report from Philanthropy Northwest and The Giving Practice, “Forging Ahead: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Foundation Investing Activities,” speaks to how investments can be selected in line with DEI values and how DEI standards can be applied to areas such as recruitment, selection and retention of vendors. The report shares first-person insight from CEOs and senior investing staff members, and gives a layperson’s view of why the approach is important. As Cal Wellness President and CEO Judy Belk points out in the report, “Change won’t happen until the structures change, and we’re looking at our entire ecosystem to make changes in power—in who makes the money and who manages the money.”
What’s clear is that DEI investing is a marathon, not a sprint. As the report notes, a common refrain in the philanthropy is the importance of giving the process 10 years to bear fruit. But the journey is as important as the destination.