Diversity and Inclusion
At SECF, we believe that foundation trustees and staff should demonstrate high regard for the communities, institutions, and individuals they engage in the course of their work. This includes being respectful of the experience, resources, insights and opinions of others; communicating promptly; handling confidential information appropriately; making informed decisions using clear, consistent guidelines; and embodying humility born of the knowledge that foundations are effective only to the extent that they work in partnership with others. The resources here can show you how foundations are working to improve their cultural competence.


As Racial Gaps in Wealth Grow, Child Health and Well-Being Suffer: Diverging Pathways: How Wealth Shapes Opportunity for Children, a new report from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, finds that as racial and ethnic gaps in wealth have grown, so too have disparities in children's health and development. While the wealth gap between black households with children and white households with children was $25,000 in 1994, it nearly doubled to $47,000 in 2007. The report finds that racial and ethnic disparities in child outcomes emerge as early as age 2, with these gaps widening over time.

D5 Coalition Assesses Diversity in Philanthropy, Charts Course: In 2010, a coalition of foundations and philanthropy organizations formed a group called D5 to begin a 5-year campaign to grow diversity, equity and inclusion in the sector, with the ultimate goal of helping "foundations achieve greater impact in an increasingly diverse landscape." State of the Work 2011, the first in a series of reports on the progress of the initiative, assesses the current levels of diversity in the field to guide the work over the next five years. The research uncovered four key findings:

  • Foundation leadership does not reflect the diversity of America's population or workforce 
  • Less than one-third of foundations have diversity policies 
  • Preliminary data suggests that funding to diverse communities is lacking 
  • Standardized data collection and studies on diversity are needed

Seven success stories are also highlighted in the report, including a feature on SECF member Jessie Ball duPont Fund and their efforts to diversify their board.

Philanthropy in a Changing Society: Achieving Effectiveness Through Diversity: How philanthropy's approach to diversity has evolved over time and the major strategies that have been piloted.

Diversity and Inclusion: Lessons from the Field: Professional and personal reflections on diversity and inclusive practices from chief executives and trustees of some of the nation’s leading foundations and corporate giving programs.

Diversity in Action: Strategies With Impact: Diversity in Action features the stories, successes, and experiences of philanthropic leaders as they work to embed diversity and inclusive practices within their own organizations.

Foundation Diversity: Policies & Practices Toolkit: Based on research conducted for The California Endowment, this report explores 5 categories: policy statement; governance and workforce; grantmaking; contracting with vendors and consultants; and investments. Social Policy Research Associates, 2008.

Diversity in Philanthropy Project: The Diversity in Philanthropy Project is a collaborative effort to expand diversity and inclusion in foundation decision-making as an essential strategy to improve effectiveness and impact.

Race Matters Toolkit: Developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this toolkit is designed to help decision makers, advocates and elected officials address policies and practices that contribute to inequitable outcomes for children, families, and communities.