Is your organization’s giving equitable?

Is your organization’s giving equitable?

// By Jacqueline Brennan

Darren Isom, Bridgespan partner and former executive director of Memphis Music Initiative, says everyone may be talking about equity, but there’s a huge disconnect between how the philanthropic sector thinks about giving, and how organizations live equitable strategies internally. It’s time to talk about how that disconnect can compromise implementation and limit the equitable outcomes organizations seek to drive, he says. And he’ll lead that conversation in the Upswell workshop, “Enough Talk — How Foundations Can Live Their Racial Equity Strategy.”

The workshop will examine the need for more equitable practices from a giving perspective, the need for organizations to consider how to sustain equitable philanthropy, and how to reorganize internally to help do that.

“Very often the pursuit of equity is performative. ‘Let’s get a little diversity going so we don’t *look* completely out of touch.’ But having intentionality around equitable funding and funding practices leads to more high-impact solutions,” according to Darren. “It’s not a question of doing it because it simply looks good or seems right – it’s about embracing equity as a path to driving better decision-making and stronger outcomes, embracing equity as an impact move.”

The workshop will get down to “brass tacks” with simple things that can be put in place from an equity perspective to drive more equitable giving that is sincere and meaningful.

“We’ll offer very clear goals and practices for implementing this work – literally what you should be doing, what you should be asking, and what the work should look like from an equitability perspective internally. He says you’ll leave the workshop “with clear takeaways about what you should do the following Monday.”

“We’ll also provide very clear knowledge agenda questions they should be trying to answer with their work, and clear best practices of others around the field who are doing this work in a good way, and those who are struggling with the work, so they can see what their roadmap might look like based on where they are as an organization, and how they live and see success in the work.”

Darren wants changemakers to be excited about learning how to give in a way that drives higher impact, and how they can shape their organizations to drive higher impact. “I’m looking forward to sharing how equity work impacts people in the real world. Nothing about giving is equity-agnostic – either you’re supporting it, or you’re limiting it. Nothing is equity-neutral.”

Enough Talk — How Foundations Can Live Their Racial Equity Strategy is happening Wednesday, November 13 from 11:15am – 12:30pm.

1600 900 Jacqueline Brennan
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