Equity in Philanthropy

This website is intended to serve as a platform to share resources related to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in grant-making practice and in philanthropy more broadly.

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Checklist of Potential Actions to Incorporate DEI in Grant Making (and Dashboard) – Available for Download!

The first tool we would like to share is this list of potential actions you can take as a grant maker to more deeply embed DEI principles into your processes. Please note there are TWO versions of the checklist available for download — an abridged version (2 pages), and a full version (7+ pages). The second tool we would like to share is a simple dashboard of metrics you can use to track your progress toward incorporating DEI in your processes, which is included with the abridged 2-page version of the checklist.

Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

We published an SSIR article, “Eliminating Implicit Bias in Grantmaking Practice,” which provides some highlights from our checklist.

Video Link from Webinar Presentation

Finally, we presented our checklist and dashboard via a webinar in March 2017 hosted by the National Center for Family Philanthropy, on “Equity, Inclusion, and Connecting with Community in Family Philanthropy.” Please view the video here — we have a 12-minute presentation from 4:00 to 16:30.

Past Presentations

We have previously presented our work in the following venues (and may be available to present upon request):

  • Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) / Arabella Advisors workshop in San Francisco, June 2016
  • Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) national conference in Baltimore, September 2016
  • FSG San Francisco office seminar, January 2017
  • National Center for Family Philanthropy webinar, March 2017
  • PEAK Grantmaking (formerly Grants Management Network) national conference in Hollywood, March 2017 (co-presented with Kelly Brown from D5 Coalition)
  • Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) / CHANGE Philanthropy webinar, May 2017 (co-presented with Kelly Brown from D5 Coalition)
  • Northern California Grantmakers / AAPIP panel discussion in Redwood City, November 2017

Other Resources: Subscribe to this Blog!

For other resources including reports and tools from others, please refer to the blog posts listed in the left side bar. Please also subscribe to this blog by submitting your contact info in the corresponding fields in the left side bar, if you want updates on new content, including new versions of the checklist.

Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

For the purposes of this checklist, we use the D5 Coalition’s definition of DEI:


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 grant making 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 decision making processes within an organization or group. While a truly “inclusive” group is necessarily diverse, a “diverse” group may or may not be “inclusive.”