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Three “Insights on Diversity” Projects Commissioned to Advance Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Philanthropy

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CHICAGO — D5 has commissioned three organizations to conduct Insights on Diversity research that will provide actionable insights for leaders who want to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of philanthropy.

“Philanthropy exists for the common good. Leaders from foundations large and small are taking action to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion because it helps us live up to that value,” said D5 Director Kelly Brown. “But there is a void of conclusive research on this subject in philanthropy. We’re excited to be a part of a renewed effort in the field to gather the data needed to help make the case that diversity, equity, and inclusion increases effectiveness—and to track the field’s progress.”

“These three innovative research projects are an important step in tackling the field’s data deficiency. They’ll also help identify the most effective policies and tools philanthropic leaders can draw upon to help drive meaningful change.”

The Insights on Diversity research recipients include a consulting firm, a nonprofit, and a regional association of foundations. The complementary projects, focusing on regional association support practices, grantmaking and grantee interactions, and support for professional trajectories, were selected from a competitive pool of applicants to fill gaps in existing tools and research, and to offer the field tangible lessons for strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Study 1: What are the career paths of people of color in philanthropy?

Forward Change, Oakland, CA,
Forward Change will study the career paths of people of color who work in philanthropy in order to identify the obstacles and opportunities for people of color to achieve mid- and senior-level management positions. The result will be increased knowledge of tools and support that work to retain and develop philanthropy professionals of color.

Study 2: How are philanthropies in the Northwest addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and adapting to changing demographics?

Philanthropy Northwest, Seattle, WA,
Philanthropy Northwest, in partnership with the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University, will explore how foundations in their region are adopting new approaches that increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organizations, and will analyze what the tipping points are for how and why practices change. The participatory research project will engage high-level executives in a peer learning network and study additional foundations to identify the practices, barriers, and organizational cultures that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Study 3: Can foundation and grantee interactions provide opportunities to increase diversity?

OMG Center for Collaborative Learning, Philadelphia, PA,
OMG Center for Collaborative Learning will examine how foundation and grantee activities intersect to broaden diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantee practices. The project will determine where there are opportunities for foundations to reinforce diversity, equity, and inclusion through interactions with grantees.


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