Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

About this collection: This Content Collection includes a variety of perspectives and tools for addressing REDI issues within your organization, including a collection of customized Checklists, Quizzes, and Self-Assessment Tools for boards and staff.

How do you define equity and how much emphasis do you place on advancing equity within your organization and through the grants that you make? How diverse is your board and staff, and how inclusive are you of other perspectives in your decision-making around grants, governance, and overall policy?

This Content Collection includes a variety of perspectives and tools for addressing REDI issues within your organization, including a collection of customized Checklists, Quizzes, and Self-Assessment Tools for boards and staff.

Please see the NCFP Content Collection on Board Composition, Diversity, and Recruitment for additional information and resources.

Start Here: Defining Equity and Racial Justice

The Principles of Effective Family Philanthropy: Equity

 Effective family philanthropy makes a collective commitment to meaningful societal change. It holds itself accountable to impact as defined by community, and to the proven practices that support it. It is adaptive, evolving with the family and the community or ecosystem within which it operates. It shares or cedes…

Can We Agree on This Simple Definition of Equity?

Equity has been like coconut water. It’s all over the place. It’s flavored with pineapple, sometimes with chocolate. Everyone is drinking Equity; it’s on websites, in conference themes, and in those “word-cloud” thingies. Given how pervasive it is, it’s weird that we don’t seem to have a common, universally-accepted definition…

What the Heck Does “Equity” Mean?

A clear definition of equity would seem paramount to galvanizing philanthropy into action around this increasingly used term—but the field is only beginning to explore what it really means. In this piece, pubslished in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, our content partner Kris Putnam-Walkerly (with the help of co-author Elizabeth…

Upcoming and Past NCFP Programs

Interested in learning more about this topic alongside your peers? Consider signing up for a current or future cohort of NCFP’s Racial Justice Learning & Action Network.
Two farmers in a field looking at soy crop at sunset
March 12, 2024

Rural Places as an Equity Strategy

Designed for family philanthropies that work in or are curious about rural areas, this session will offer insights to supporting rural communities. Learn how an equity strategy should include rural areas, and explore the unique challenges and successes of investing in and working with these communities. Attendees will gain knowledge…
Equity vs equality family philanthropy
September 14, 2023

Operationalizing Equity Practices

For funders seeking to incorporate an equity lens throughout their work (and not just their grantmaking), there are many opportunities to shift internal operations towards more equitable and values-aligned practices. Yet while many families recognize the desire to make these shifts, they need further guidance around the specific decisions and…
old photographs on table; genealogy; family tree
January 13, 2022

Reflecting on Your Origin Story: Understanding Wealth, Legacy, and Equity

The criticism of wealth is longstanding and brings to the fore a conversation on justice that is important to reflect upon in the pursuit of effective family philanthropy. Though necessary, this type of reflection often raises a number of difficult questions that require philanthropic families to interrogate their history and…
December 13, 2021

Racial Justice in Family Philanthropy Symposium

Registration is now closed. If you have questions, please email ncfp@ncfp.org. NCFP’s Family Philanthropy Racial Justice Symposium is a two-day virtual learning opportunity for family foundation board members, CEOs, senior staff, and next generation family members seeking to deepen their knowledge around racial equity frameworks and practices. Leverage Philanthropic Partners,…
October 7, 2021

Actualizing Racial Equity in Philanthropy

What does accountability look like in philanthropy when doing racial equity work? How can foundation trustees leverage their positions to facilitate transformative action? Attendees at this salon will explore ways they can actualize their dedication to racial equity work at their foundation. As an equity consultant, Aiko Bethea will talk…

Understanding Racial Bias and White Privilege: Selected Readings & Ways to Respond


Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt

Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance by Edgar Villanueva

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo


Articles and Blog Posts

The Power of a Shared Language for Advancing Racial Equity

Dear Philanthropy: These are the Fires of Anti-Black Racism

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

115 Ways to Donate in Support of Black Lives and Communities of Color

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice

Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial Equity Advancing Racial Equity


Workshops and Trainings

Racial Justice Learning and Action Network (NCFP)

Unconscious whiteness training (Northern California Grantmakers)


Additional Tools and Resources

Interview Questions for an Anti-Racism Consultant

ABA 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

#DoTheWork 30 Day Challenge for Allies of Black Women

The Great Unlearn curated by Rachel E. Cargle

Disrupting White Dominant Culture: Reflection Questions for White People Working for Racial Justice

White Culture Worksheet: Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity

Checklists, Quizzes, and Self-Assessment Tools for Boards and Staff

A Checklist of Potential Actions: Incorporating DEI into Your Grantmaking Process – Arabella Advisors

The checklist below, provided by Arabella Advisors is intended to provide actionable ideas on how to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in grant-making processes. They gathered these ideas based on Arabella Advisors’ own experiences with grant making, as well as research posted on the D5 Coalition website, feedback from many philanthropists (such as members of…

Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens​

In recognition of the complexity of these shifts and the evolution of the work, PRE has published Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide, to help foundation leaders understand what it means to move from racial equity to racial justice funding strategies, co-written by PRE Senior Fellow Rinku…

Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens

This guide was developed in partnership with the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity. Highlights Three tools for activating a racial equity lens Your Race/Your Role Questions to ask inside your foundation What’s in the Guide? What Is a Racial Equity Lens? For grantmakers and foundation leaders, using a racial equity lens…

Quiz: Where Are You in Your Equity Journey?

This assessment was created by CHANGE Philanthropy with questions from D5 Coalition and Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity tools. The results will inform where you are in terms of equity and give you curated resources to help you along in advancing equity in your foundation.

Project Implicit: Identifying and Testing Your Hidden Biases

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data…

Is Your Foundation Leveraging the Power of Differences?

Based on extensive research and experience emerging from its Transforming Michigan Philanthropy initiative, the Council of Michigan Foundations has developed this discussion guide and assessment tool to help foundation leaders begin essential conversations about the power of differences and determine the level of their organization’s readiness for growth.

Racial Equity Impact Assessments

A Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) is a systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision. REIAs are used to minimize unanticipated adverse consequences in a variety of contexts, including the analysis of proposed policies, institutional practices, programs, plansand…

Social Justice Toolkit for Young People

Created by the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program, the goal of this interactive toolkit is to inspire and cultivate the next generation of social justice philanthropy leaders. By completing modules that cover topics such as racial equity, oppressive systems, and philanthropic traditions, young people will acquire the tools they need to…

Racial Equity Learning Modules

A growing collection of learning modules created by World Trust Educational Services in collaboration with other leading racial justice organizations. The project seeks to bridge the gap between inspiration and democratic action that supports racial equity. Designed for educators and trainers, these resources are designed to support others to drop…

Social Justice Philanthropy Terminology Guide

This guide focuses on developing a deeper understanding of both general and niche philanthropy-related terms. Some of the terms, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion are more general and applicable outside of the field of philanthropy. Other terms, such as charitable industrial complex, mission creep, and return on investment are…

Reports and Perspectives from Funders and Colleagues

Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide

Movements have grown in their intersectionality, their sophistication and reach and many nonprofits and organizers have been actively contributing to their gains as well as being pushed themselves. Many funders and philanthropic infrastructure organizations have taken on the language and principles of racial equity in their changing practices. Yet so…

Guiding a Giving Response to Anti-Black Injustice

Blog Post
ABFE and The Bridgespan Group offer here a set of six principles, greatly informed by Black movement leaders and funders of Black-led social change, which can guide funders seeking to support racial justice and thriving Black lives in the United States.

Capital at a Crossroads: Redirecting Capital to Accelerate Racial Equity

This paper offers a synopsis of the evolution from community development and ESG investing to the emergence of investing explicitly with a racial equity lens, proposes a definition for racial equity investing, and presents emerging opportunities across asset classes for investors.

Blueprint for Change: A Call to Action for Silicon Valley Philanthropy to Engage and Support Latinx Organizations, Communities and Leaders for the Common Good

This report is intended to motivate more intentional and aggressive efforts to advance the work and success of Latinx-focused and led nonprofit organizations in Silicon Valley. It builds on extensive research, community outreach, and executive consultations over the past two years involving many of our region’s leading civic and social…
a white woman looks in a mirror; in grayscale

Why It Matters to Turn the Mirror on Ourselves

Blog Post
Our intention is to share lessons learned that have helped us grow our skills as philanthropists who seek to be more effective in changing the status quo. Our hope is that you might push yourselves in new ways, too—or teach us what has made a difference in your own journey…

From Words to Action: a Practical Philanthropic Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As communities worldwide are becoming more diverse, they are increasingly tackling the realities of systemic inequity. Philanthropy too must acknowledge its place in the context of transformative demographic changes. Addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been an ongoing challenge within philanthropy, and while there has been progress, it requires…

Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter

Diversity, equity, inclusion. Nonprofit organizations use these words as they strive to become more diverse, yet many leaders are uncertain about the steps needed to turn dialogue – and intention – into action.

Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned from the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment

The Applied Research Center (ARC) and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) developed the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment following ARC’s 2004 publication of Short Changed: Foundation Giving in Communities of Color. That report documented, as recent reports have confirmed, decreasing grantmaking with clear racial justice impacts, as well as…

What We Mean by Equity at the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

Acknowledging that we are not living in a post-racist or post-poverty environment and learning how and why these issues exist today and continue to interfere with the fulfillment of human potential is a fundamentally key and critical part of the work that we are doing.

Putting Racism on the Table Video Series

The term “racism” is powerful. It evokes images of the past, a time of black and white newsreels and overt, often violent, acts. The racism of today is subtle, often historically embedded in our institutions and sometimes presenting in biases of which we are unaware. In 2016, the Washington Regional…

The Case for Funding Black-led Social Change

The country has long resisted grappling with its history of slavery and legacy of anti-Black racism, and with the impact they’ve had on the Black community. Today, the nation has an important opportunity to address this legacy. Philanthropy can play a pivotal role by reversing its under-investment in Black-led social…

Resolution & Transformation: Hate Has No Place in Our Work

At Robins Foundation, our board and staff aspires to connect equity with transformational change for children and families across our region. We are reflecting on opportunities in our own organization. This includes our governance, our management and our process of funding. This includes raising our awareness and deeper understanding of…

Annual Report Message: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (The Collins Foundation)

2015 was an eventful year at The Collins Foundation. One of our board members announced his retirement, and we completed a major planning effort to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) more deeply into our organization and grantmaking. An overview of our plan appears later in this annual report. 

You Can’t Fund Equity Without Sweat Equity

Whether you are explicitly focused on social or economic justice, or if you focus on education, community development, the arts, or the environment, we at Quixote think applying an equity lens to your work is one of the most timely and mutually beneficial paths a funder can take.

How Can I Be 1% More?

I believe that Quixote Foundation’s reflective practices allowed us to hold multiple truths while engaging in internal and often uncomfortable racial equity training. Our ability to do this work at every level of the organization made a tremendous difference in our final year of grantmaking and grantee engagement.

Even with Complex Histories, Families Have an Opportunity to Advance Equity

Racial diversity and inclusion have been central to the grant making strategy at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for decades. In more recent years, the Foundation has deepened its engagement with racial equity. For David L. Neal, a family member and trustee at the Winston-Salem, N.C., family foundation, this focus…

Building Inclusion from the Inside-Out: A Brief Case Study

In this piece for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Arabella explores its ongoing efforts—stumbles and all—to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, in the hopes that others can learn from our experience as they work toward our shared goals.

Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy

The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG) working paper is a starting place of learning for the Disability Inclusion Working Group and its colleagues of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers. Through the paper, we provide a scan of how the philanthropic sector has addressed disability inclusion and…

A Generosity of Spirit: The Legacy of Black Philanthropy

Blog Post
As we approach the conclusion of Black History Month we are pleased to share a fresh look at the special role of Black philanthropy in the US. “African American giving is grounded in a collective sense of responsibility and obligation towards the community and the continuing larger struggle for liberation.…

Additional Perspectives

Philanthropy’s Role in Reparations and Building a Culture of Racial Repair by Bridgespan

Our Racial Equity Audit by The Skillman Foundation

Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Case for Reparations By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Have nonprofit and philanthropy become the “white moderate” that Dr. King warned us about? by Vu Le

ABFE’s 10 Imperatives: “We Must be in It for the Long Haul”

Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

5 Practices to Advance Equity with Your Giving by the San Francisco Foundation

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The Curb Cut Effect (Stanford Social Innovation Review) by Angela Glover Blackwell

Past NCFP Webinars

December 13, 2018

Building Bridges: A Conversation with NCFP’s New Fellows on Racial Equity

Are you breaking or bridging? We all have been affected by structural racism. NCFP’s own 2019 Fellows have dedicated themselves to getting proximate to the people, to the issue, to our families, to the field, and to thinking about how we have been impacted by racial injustice and inequity. From…
March 9, 2017

Equity, Inclusion, and Connecting with Community in Family Philanthropy

What does inclusivity mean for family philanthropy? How can we promote diversity, community engagement, and openness while retaining the family focus of our giving practices? This session will feature a conversation on strategies for connecting with community and building an equity lens into your grantmaking and internal operations.

October 8, 2015

Community Connections: Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in Your Grantmaking

What are the spectrum of options available to family foundations and funds seeking to engage diverse perspectives in their work? What are the benefits of doing so and how can you develop a strategy and plan that makes the most sense for your governance and grantmaking approach? And how can…
November 12, 2015

How Social Justice Giving Honors Our Roots and Strengthens Communities

This webinar, presented in partnership with the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, will explore strategies family foundations can take to engage more deeply in grantmaking that builds toward long-term social change. The webinar will draw from case studies highlighted in NCRP’s new Families Funding Change report, as well as the…