Foundation Diversity Policy & Practices Toolkit

Changing demographics throughout the United States are redefining the role of diversity within the field of philanthropy. Foundations are embracing diversity in their grantmaking and organizational practices and thereby strengthening their knowledge of the communities they serve. This, in turn, broadens their perspective on the political, economic, and social problems they aim to resolve. A foundation that both reflects and acknowledges the myriad characteristics of its communities operates from a richer range of viewpoints toward successful grantmaking and as an authentic philanthropic partner.

While a number of foundations have been highlighting the importance of diversity for more than two decades, there has been increasing attention in recent years to engage foundations as institutions that integrate diversity components throughout the organization—such as in governance, programs, human resources, grants management, and outsourcing/vendor contracts. Foundations working to integrate diversity into their grantmaking and organizational practices also work to leverage all aspects of their resources to bring positive change to the communities they serve. More importantly, the establishment of policies and practices is an essential step to institutionalizing a commitment to diversity that will live beyond the current leadership and serve to represent the values of the foundation far into the future