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As natural relationship cultivators, grantmakers explore equity and inclusion practices every day. Working within a system created to benefit some, but not all, creates challenges in the grantmaking field and slows the ability of nonprofits and other organizations to create greater impact in their communities. Folding equity into our daily actions is crucial not only to the success of our grantmaking efforts, but also the success of the funders, organizations, and communities we aim to serve.

How do we ensure that we are identifying and instilling best practices as grantmakers? In addition to GO Smart’s Equity and Social Justice Resources page, which is frequently updated to include the latest tools, news, and resources in the DEIA arena of grantmaking and the arts, we have compiled a list of five resources that will kickstart your equity efforts or simply serve as a road map to closing existing gaps within organizations—creating lasting change and amplifying the diverse voices of our communities:

Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens – Candid Learning

Candid Learning’s guide highlights tools for activating a racial equity lens, how your role and race play into your grantmaking efforts, and important questions to ask inside your organization or foundation.

Centering Equity through Flexible, Reliable Funding – Geo Funders

This publication from Geo Funders highlights the ways that flexible and reliable funding can ensure that critical resources needed by nonprofits continue to be available for the communities they seek to strengthen.

Race Inequity Frameworks Toolkit – D5 Coalition

This toolkit, created in 2009 by Funders for LGBTQ Issues, provides ways to draw on and better understand inequities found in programs, policies, and grantmaking.

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Grant Making – Open Society Foundations

Similar to the Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens guide, this document provides resources on how to improve upon existing grantmaking practices to be more equitable and better support social justice initiatives, as well as how to have effective conversations within your organization.

Equity in Philanthropy

This page offers several resources, including a checklist (both the full and shortened versions) of potential actions grantmakers can take to ensure DEI principles are embedded in their processes, as well as a metrics dashboard so you can track your progress on how many of these processes you have incorporated.

By working together to collectively raise awareness surrounding issues of equity and consistently working to repair them, grantmaking efforts will become more effective against inequity under more community-focused practice. Creating relationships based on connections and trust will make it easier to provide necessary flexibility in funding areas where specific community needs are present.

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