Questions to Ask Inside Your Foundation About Your Foundation's Own Policies, Practices, and Grant

About Your Foundation's Own Policies and Practices:

  • How is a commitment to racial equity reflected in our mission, vision, goals, and work plans?
  • How diverse is our own staff? How about our executive leadership and board? Are we doing enough to establish or maintain a diversity of voices inside the foundation?
  • Is our staff experienced in talking about race? If not, what internal staff development might strengthen our ability to discuss issues of race and act on racial inequities?
  • Do we have criteria and policies in place to assess the racial and ethnic diversity of grantees? Do we have protocols for discussing the role of racial equity in shaping their organization priorities? What data do we gather about the race/ethnicity of their boards and staff? What does that data tell us, and are we doing enough to respond?
  • What do we know about the racial and ethnic diversity of our contractors and suppliers? Do those relationships reflect our commitment to racial equity?
  • How can we ensure that we stay open to new ideas and diverse voices? Do we have criteria and policies in place that seem race neutral but may be barriers to potential grantees of color?
  • Are foundation staff assessed and rewarded for their ability to connect with diverse grantees and community members?
  • How should our commitment to racial equity be reflected in the foundation’s own performance measures? What should the foundation be held accountable for?
  • If we’re a community foundation, how do we celebrate and support philanthropy by people of color?

About Your Own Grantmaking Strategy

  • What might racial equity look like in the arenas where we work?
  • How could a racial equity lens strengthen our own understanding of the problems we’re trying to address? How could it strengthen the understanding and practice of grantees? What quantitative data would help clarify the problems that matter to us?
  • How is our grantmaking strategy responsive to demographic changes in our community?
  • Are we consciously asking if there are racial disparities in the arenas where we work? If so, why do they exist? Do our strategies align with our reasoning about the disparities? Are they targeting the right problems?

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens.