Here’s another success story from the State of the Work 2012. Joyce White from Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington discusses their partnership with the Foundation Center to understand how their members were responding diversity in the region. –Kelly
GRANTMAKERS of Oregon and Southwest Washington
The last several years have witnessed a noticeable shift in demographics in Oregon and Southwest Washington, and GRANTMAKERS didn’t have data that showed whether or not our member’s grantmaking strategies reflected the changes.
To help us understand exactly how GRANTMAKERS’ members were responding to the growing racial and ethnic diversity of our region, we partnered with the Foundation Center to research and publish Grantmaking to Communities of Color in Oregon—an in-depth look at how and where funders were making grants. A research study of this scope and focus had not been done in the state for more than 30 years.
We wanted a closer look at if giving from small and large foundations and Oregon’s Tribal funders reached communities of color. While we are a very small staff, we understood the value, implications and timeliness of the research project and made it a priority.
We’re glad we did. The report strengthened the relationship between GRANTMAKERS and the Coalition of Communities of Color, an organization that seeks to improve the outcomes of communities of color. A series of meetings and dialogues resulted in the Coalition developing a set of recommendations for more effective grantmaking to reach targeted communities.
The effort had been rewarding—one that has better informed GRANTMAKERS work and the work of our members, and one that has led to better relationships and information-sharing between organizations that are working toward common goals.