Philanthropy’s Role in Fostering a Just and Equitable Society

October 30, 2017

Blog post by Deb Dubin, President & CEO, Gateway Center for Giving

Where we’ve been: For more than three years, the Gateway Center for Giving (GCG) has been intentionally engaged in providing our funding community with opportunities to learn and dialogue about the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in August 2014, we tracked immediate regional philanthropic responses to the events in Ferguson and provided that information to our Members in order to foster collaboration and identify engagement points. Since that time, we have offered Members a robust series of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Funders Affinity Group programs, exploring DEI within our organizations and in the broader community. Our team developed a new sector tool, the Missouri Common Grant Application Version 2.0, which infuses an equity lens into the grantmaking process in order to foster transformation, spark dialogue and boost accountability. Most recently, we’ve become a community co-signor to a powerful statement calling for policy and decision-makers to deliver swift action on Ferguson Commission’s Calls to Action.

REWG co-chairs, Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE, and Tamara Copeland, President & CEO of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

National implications for this work: As a member of the United Philanthropy Forum’s (the “Forum”) Racial Equity Working Group (REWG), I traveled to Washington, DC last week to participate in two days of conversations about how the Forum can best support a national philanthropic commitment to addressing and eradicating inequity. The Forum network consists of various moving parts, with sector leaders sitting in organizational seats all over the country. Some Forum members are already firmly engaged in substantial programming and activities intended to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion, while others are newer to the work and seeking a meaningful path forward. The Forum intends to bring together all the groups working in this area to connect, learn and share from each other in a more intentional way.

The Forum’s REWG is being co-chaired by Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE: a Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, and Tamara Copeland, President & CEO of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. The REWG will focus on the following action items:

  • Identify effective resources, programming and strategies that have been developed and used to advance racial equity in philanthropy;
  • Identify any gaps in what is needed in resources and programming to advance racial equity in philanthropy;
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Forum staff to lift up, adapt and/or develop resources and programming that can be used by Forum members across the network;
  • Provide guidance to the Forum’s Education Committee and Board of Directors on the Forum’s strategic priorities and goals around advancing racial equity in philanthropy; and
  • Evaluate progress over time.

How can we, as philanthropy-supporting organizations (PSOs), foster a more just and equitable society? How can we encourage increased philanthropic investment to support transformative change?

This is a watershed moment. Organized philanthropy is a critical partner in the work, and the Gateway Center for Giving is committed to providing our Members with meaningful support and tools for action.

Gateway Center for Giving is grateful to the Trio Foundation of St. Louis, Commerce Bank, Spire, the Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Clemence Lieber Foundation for their support of our DEI-focused initiatives.

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Gateway Center for Giving Launches Missouri Common Grant Application, Version 2.0

July 5, 2017

 

Free, Customizable Tool for Grantmakers Elevates Best Practices in Giving

The Gateway Center for Giving is pleased to announce the launch of the Missouri Common Grant Application (CGA) Version 2.0, which now incorporates questions about diversity, equity and inclusion into the customizable grant application template. The CGA, a free community resource, facilitates the application process for grantmakers and grantees. It is available for download by visiting the Gateway Center for Giving website. A companion User Guide, Budget Template, and all-new Funder Guide are also available.

“For the past several years, the Gateway Center for Giving has taken a leadership role in convening regional funders around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and the impact on philanthropic practices. The newly revised CGA Version 2.0 helps grantmakers to extend their commitment to DEI by infusing an intentional DEI lens into their strategies. While every grantmaker will have different guidelines, priorities, and deadlines, this is a customizable tool, and we encourage funders to utilize it,” said Gateway Center for Giving CEO Deborah Dubin.

“To build CGA Version 2.0, the Gateway Center for Giving team has researched best practices; convened local funders and nonprofits for discussion and feedback; and consulted with national organizations who are leading the charge to incorporate a DEI lens into grantmaking practices,” said Jama Dodson, Board Chairman of the Gateway Center for Giving and Executive Director of the Saint Louis Mental Health Board. Cynthia Crim, a grantmaker and member of the revision committee, noted that “CGA Version 2.0 will help funders expand their conversations with grantees and gather meaningful data on community progress on the road to equity.”

The Missouri CGA was first created in 2012 as a sector tool, and it has been highly utilized by regional grantmakers, as well as drawing considerable interest from organizations across the country. Support for the effort to revise and expand the CGA in 2017 was provided by the Trio Foundation of St. Louis, Spire, and the Clemence Lieber Foundation.


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