D5 was launched just over two years ago with a set of concrete, if profoundly ambitious, goals. It was a daunting agenda. Some people might even say it was impossible. Yet it seemed clear to me then, as it does now, that the momentum for being successful at this work was on our side.
At the midpoint of D5, I am hopeful because I see signs of progress and transformation. Now when I talk about this work, people understand the issue. They may not always be ready to take it on; they may address it superficially; they may be weary of the issue’s persistence. Yet, all of these perspectives are part of the conversation. And they are conversations you as allies and leaders must continue to have wherever and whenever possible if we are to deepen and extend the change we know will strengthen our field.
There is work to be done and we are the ones who must do it. The visionary leadership exists but we must call those visionary leaders to action. Over the past two years, D5’s partners have continued to strengthen the field’s capacity to move forward with new research, tools and strategic conversation. Over the next two years, these resources must be put to use.
A foundation CEO—one committed to advancing inclusion within his own institution—recently told me that in the regular course of business his peers did not tend to raise issues of diversity and inclusion—much less equity. “So what do you need from me?” he asked as I was about to leave. I replied, “I need you to raise it.”
This is what we need from all of you who are committed to the transformative power of this work. It is essential that we leave the field at the end of 2015 with a clear message that philanthropy can voluntarily adopt strategies that ensure its relevance to the communities in which it invests. D5, along with its partners, exists to empower you with tools and data to do this work, but ultimately only you can make your field what you know it can be, what it needs to be, and what it will be.
Today, D5 released the State of the Work 2013. This year’s report features lessons learned from four foundations on the policies, practices, and leadership required to drive meaningful change. The foundations profiled include: the American Express Foundation, the Baltimore Community Foundation, Access Strategies Fund, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. We also invited four thought leaders to comment on the progress, pitfalls, and potential of philanthropy in D5’s four goal areas: Recruiting Diverse Leaders, Inspiring Voluntary Action, Increasing Funding for Diverse Communities, and Improving Data Collection and Transparency. Read the full report here.
Building the Movement
During the first several months of 2013, D5 and its constellation of colleagues and allies continued to promote the movement and support D5’s goals related to Leaders, Action, Funding and Data. Below are just some of the activities that have recently taken place.
Action: At the April Council on Foundations Annual Conference in Chicago, D5 hosted a session, Engaging the Heart and Mind of Philanthropy, that called on philanthropy to ensure that diverse voices are heard in the shaping of philanthropic strategies and approaches. Session participants shared stories and insights from their work in diverse communities, focusing on gun violence and opportunities for youth, which aligned with the opening plenary of the conference. Prior to the COF conference, EPIP, ABFE, HIP, NAP, AAPIP, and NCRP also hosted their annual conferences and meetings.
Data: D5 ally Assistant Professor of Public Policy & Public Administration at George Washington University Jasmine McGinnis authored an op-ed that appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It issued a challenge to philanthropic leaders to collect and use data on diversity in the sector. At a momentous time in our country’s history, philanthropy can lead the way with capturing the movement and effect of our demographic shifts. Professor McGinnis also wrote a more detailed call to action that appears on the D5 website.
Leaders: D5 Leadership Team member Vicki Rosenberg was a featured guest blogger for BoardSource in February where she discussed what it means to have a foundation board that is truly committed to diversity and inclusion – beyond simply counting the numbers ofdiverse members. Her message is framed by lessons learned by the Council of Michigan Foundations in focus groups with its members.
Action: In late January, more than 20 foundation leaders and trustees attended a meeting in West Chester, Pennsylvania, co-hosted by Delaware Valley Grantmakers and the Chester County Funders Group. Participants discussed issues related to DEI, and learned about D5 and ways to engage with the broader field.
Action: In March, D5 ally Mary Ellen Capek penned an op-ed response to Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book, Lean In, that appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Capek makes the case that not only do individuals need to “lean in,” but organizations – in this case foundations – need to “lean in” and confront the aspects of their cultures that may get in the way of meaningful diversity and inclusion.
New Additions to the D5 Website
We continue to develop www.D5Coalition.org as a more comprehensive website for those interested in advancing DEI in philanthropy.
Our Projects in the Works
I Am A Philanthropist: We are working to transform the depth of insights from footage gathered during production of this film into video shorts on specific communities that tell rich stories of diverse philanthropy. Working with RPA, Bolder Giving, and a range of population-focused funds, we intend to stimulate the conversation about just how diverse philanthropy really is.
Supporting Population-Focused Funds: The research analysis of PFFs is on track to be completed by July. To date, the research team has conducted interviews with more than two dozen key informants, fielded a survey of PFFs, and conducted a financial trend analysis. The work is being supported and guided by a Research Advisory Group of representatives from PFFs, support organizations and academia. More information can be found here.
Scan of Programs, Policies and Practices: JustPartners, Inc. recently completed its scan of programs, policies and practices of DEI-related work. D5 is developing plans to rollout resources, trainings, and toolkits from the scan in the coming months.
Data Collection and Transparency: The Foundation Center and the Donors Forum of Illinois launched a pilot of the Foundation Center’s online Profile tool designed to facilitate the way foundations can update and share information on themselves and their grantmaking. We are now assessing the results of the pilot to inform changes and revisions.
Upcoming D5 and Partner Events
Movement News —Recent Events, New Resources
Tags: D5 Newsletter