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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


The word “diversity” can mean different things to different people. We’ve defined it broadly to encompass the demographic mix of a specific collection of people, taking into account elements of human difference, but focusing particularly on:

  • Racial and ethnic groups: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos/Latinas, African Americans and blacks, and American Indians and Alaska Natives
  • LGBT populations
  • People with disabilities
  • Women

D5 uses this broad definition of diversity for three reasons. First, this is what diversity looks like in the 21st century. Second, our definition encompasses populations that historically have been—and remain —underrepresented in grantmaking and among practitioners in the field, and marginalized in the broader society. Third, to be a national leader, organized philanthropy must get in front of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and do so in a comprehensive way. We acknowledge and respect that this is one of many ways to define diversity, a concept that can encompass many other human differences as well.


Improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our society.


Refers to the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decisionmaking processes within an organization or group. While a truly “inclusive” group is necessarily diverse, a “diverse” group may or may not be “inclusive.”