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At D5, we believe in the importance of showcasing the work being done to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the field. The following post is part of our ongoing series Building the Movement: Leaders Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Philanthropy.

By Cole Wilbur staff_big_wilbur

What value can diversity bring to the work of family foundations? First of all, diversity is now more interwoven into the fabric of our society, including our neighborhoods, education, business and media. Integrating diversity into many aspects of a family foundation’s work can result in more compelling grantmaking, particularly in responding effectively to demographic changes that nonprofit organizations face every day.

Diversity also holds the promise of helping family foundations highlight fresh voices in leadership positions, inspire new thinking and gain insightful observations that strengthen a board’s vision. More »

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Frances Sheehan, President & CEO, Brandywine Health FoundationAt D5, we believe in the importance of showcasing the work being done to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the field. The following post is part of our ongoing series Building the Movement: Leaders Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Philanthropy.

By Frances Sheehan

So much of everything of real value is learned in kindergarten. Reading Daniel Goleman’s new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence is a dense exploration of the neurologic underpinnings of how children – and adults – can better learn to focus for greater creativity and intellectual accomplishment. The words of the narrator remind me of my own kindergarten days.

I can hear my dad’s deep voice: “concentrate, concentrate, concentrate.” For the little girl whose report card said, “lacks self-control” (really just another way of saying “too enthusiastic about life”!), those were simple words but they still ring in my ears more than 50 years later.

So when I hear leaders – whether paid or volunteer – complain that they’re struggling to diversify their boards, I’m reminded of another early and very simple lesson: Make new friends. More »

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Last month, EPIP held a webinar titled: Navigating Shifting Sands – What We Can All Learn from Jewish Charitable Giving to discuss findings from the first-ever national study on American Jewish giving. This research, Connected to Give: Key Findings, is the product of a collaboration of more than a dozen Jewish private and community foundations working in partnership with Jumpstart to map the landscape of charitable giving by American Jews. More »

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by: Susan Olivo and Elaine Katz


Each October, in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, our nation honors the invaluable contributions of Americans with disabilities to our nation’s workforce. These friends and colleagues overcome adversity on a daily basis to help drive our economy forward.

It is also a time to ask ourselves what we all can do to help break down the barriers between individuals with disabilities and the jobs for which they are qualified. To help prevent discrimination against those with disabilities, and help support a diverse workforce, philanthropy should take the lead in ensuring equal employment opportunities for all.

An estimated 58 million Americans have at least one disability, making them the largest minority group in the nation. As baby boomers age, and service members transition back to civilian life, experts estimate that number could double within 20 years. Nevertheless, less than 3 percent of philanthropic giving is directed to programs serving people with disabilities.

Even after 23 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law, achieving equality of opportunity, with full inclusion in the workplace remains elusive for the 58 million Americans facing physical, social or emotional challenges.

Youth with disabilities face significant challenges in school and in the transition to adult life. National studies show that compared to their non-disabled peers, students with disabilities are less likely to receive a regular high school diploma, drop out twice as often, and enroll in and complete post-secondary education programs much later after leaving high school and at just half the rate.

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The changing face of America has been a topic of conversation in many sectors lately. What are communities doing to embrace this change in demography? Dubuque is ready to take on the challenge to create a more inclusive and diverse community.


Inclusive Dubuque is a local initiative to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone in the community. It seeks to ensure that all community members have access to all the resources that the community can offer.

Diversity and inclusion mean that diverse people are supported and included in making their best contributions to the community. Communities can only be further strengthened when people are able to share and learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is challenging and can be especially challenging when the conversation turns to race. In Dubuque, previous attempts to establish an action plan to create a diverse, welcoming community became bogged down in racial issues, according to Eric Dregne, vice president of strategic initiatives for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. However, Inclusive Dubuque is trying to overcome this challenge, and focus the conversation on accepting people of difference in the community. One of the initiative’s action items is to develop a culturally competent education system, which will focus on an “intercultural approach to educate by honoring one’s own culture and valuing other cultures, through civility, compassion, and respect.” It is hoped that this can begin to steer people into the right conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. More »

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