Equitable Giving Toolkit

Equitable Giving Toolkit

April 26, 2024

Does someone in your organization need to be convinced why flexible, trust-based funding to locally-led organizations is better for achieving impact? Or are you ready but just need some how-tos? Check out this compilation of resources and templates from Bridgespan, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Council on Foundations, Thousand Currents, Fund the People, and more.  Resources are organized by theme. Some of the most visited are: 

Decolonizing philanthropy requires philanthropists to assess to whom they choose to give as well as how their giving perpetuates the very problems they aim to solve. One of the most effective ways funders can contribute is to support organizations built around community-driven solutions. Solutions for the people created by the people have the greatest chance of successfully changing the status quo.

More than 80 million people in Africa live with disabilities. This folder has resources for funders and philanthropists interested in supporting persons living with disabilities in Africa inclusively and meaningfully for maximum social impact.

Equity should be a core focus of those seeking to change systems. This is because the systems that drive the need for philanthropy are themselves filled with inequities: inequities of power, of resources, of connections, of information. True change of a system can only occur when those inequities are addressed. 

The growing number of countries adopting a feminist foreign policy reveals increasing recognition of the importance of gender equality and women’s rights. Yet evidence shows that feminist movements and women’s rights organizations remain dramatically underfunded.

LGBTQ+ communities face urgent conditions, and grantmakers must mobilize together to financially resource the movements that can meet those needs. But it is important to recognize that the attacks and the crises are not the only story that is told.

Foundations are increasingly interested in approaches that shift power, trust, and decisions around resources away from “experts” to those who have lived experience and have historically been treated only as recipients of charity. “Nothing about us without us” has been taken up as a clarion call for change in how foundations operate.

These documents can be used if you’re looking for simple templates to inform your board of potential grants or grant renewals.

Leaders share a range of perspectives on the “ideal” role of global organizations (or international non-governmental organizations / INGOs). Most agree that their roles should change—even diminish—as local organizations get more resourcing and power.

The purpose of a safeguarding policy is to protect people, particularly children and at-risk adults from harm arising from the conduct of staff, board members, associates, and other personnel acting on behalf of grantmakers and/or the design and implementation of the grantee organization’s activities.

To reduce the harm that traditional models of capacity building may cause, new definitions and models of “capacity building” are needed. Grounded in equity and power sharing, capacity building should be reframed as “the process of building and strengthening the systems, structures, cultures, skills, resources, and power that organizations need to serve their communities.” 

Nonprofit leaders have long called for multiyear general operating support (MYGOS or MYGOD) grants. These grants provide their organizations with flexibility to use funds to fulfill their missions and the ability to plan for the long-term sustainability of their organizations, programs, and services. Yet, nonprofits rarely receive these grants.

Does more transparency in how funders make decisions lead to more accountability? Many have delineated two principal lines of accountability—towards foundation boards and trustees, and towards grantee partners and the communities they serve.

A new approach to evaluation is rising in philanthropy—one that is rooted in trust, equity, and learning for impact. Many currently track data with a similarly mainstream approach because the main audience for evaluation is board members and leaders who want to see ‘proof’ of impact. This way of thinking about evaluation reinforces funders as the central figure. It sets up short-term metrics that allow funders to pat themselves on the back, rather than see, and actually address, the real challenges communities face—including the time they waste unnecessarily reporting to funders. It also fails to capture learnings that could be useful to grantees, communities, and foundations.

The world’s development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding challenges are vast and complex, with local implications. Success hinges upon enhanced collaboration and cooperation between donors and the people, institutions, and communities who address and are impacted by these challenges every day. Donors must acknowledge and respect the dignity, agency, priorities, knowledge, rights, and aspirations of those people and communities.

Find more resources on the Segal Philanthropies website, including a donor resource directory and a philanthropy dictionary.