Who works in philanthropy? Where do philanthropic dollars go? In our era of big data and in a field that recognizes the importance of data, the collection and sharing of demographic data has remained elusive, limiting philanthropy’s ability to assess and communicate about its impact.
D5 is working with partners to ensure that philanthropy has the systems in place to baseline, track, and be more transparent about its progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Critical to this capacity is building the field’s ability and willingness to collect and share demographic data about who works in and leads philanthropic institutions, and about who benefits from philanthropic investments.
|Support the development of systems and foster commitment for collecting and sharing internal foundation diversity data (i.e., staff, boards, vendors) and constituent data (i.e., populations that benefit from philanthropic dollars as well as the demographic composition of organizations supported by philanthropic dollars).|
In this section:
We believe that advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion helps us live up to our commitment to serve the common good. But the field of philanthropy lacks conclusive research to make the case that it also enhances effectiveness. Data are critical to tracking our progress and our impact. To identify the most effective policies and tools philanthropic leaders can draw upon to help drive meaningful change, D5 commissioned three research projects that were published in 2014:
Philanthropy Northwest, in partnership with the Seattle University Nonprofit Leadership Program, explored the role of leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy. The participatory research project engaged high-level executives in a peer learning network, and studied additional foundations to identify the practices, barriers, and organizational cultures that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This study conducted by Forward Change provides a holistic, in-depth picture of the career experiences of 43 philanthropic professionals of color ranging from Program Officers to CEOs working in a diverse array of foundations. The study surfaced a set of potentially common points of entry, career pathways and obstacles of professionals of color in philanthropy, as well as the factors that helped shape those pathways.
The OMG Center for Collaborative Learning investigated the systemic factors in the philanthropic sector that facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantmaking and nonprofit practices. Specifically, the project identified where there are opportunities for foundations to reinforce diversity, equity, and inclusion through interactions with their nonprofit partners and peer foundations.
In partnership with Public Interest Projects, on March 27th, 2014, D5 hosted a webinar entitled, “Elusive Philanthropy Data: Opportunities and Barriers for Collecting Data to Tell Philanthropy’s Full Story.” Today, many foundations track and share data about DEI differently, or not at all. Despite the mountains of data that foundations do collect, philanthropy still cannot speak reliably about its impact. In this webinar, Brenda Henry-Sanchez of the Foundation Center, Eric Henderson a communications professional with years of experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and Beth Tuttle of The Cultural Data Project discuss the successes and challenges of data collection in philanthropy.
See our work: