Equity Resources for Foundations


My philanthropy advisory firm has been pursuing, studying and documenting equity within philanthropy. In this important step toward philanthropic progress, we are working on developing and discovering what equity means to funders, foundations and organizations, both individually and across the field. The following list is a variety of resources which we have found helpful in our ongoing study of equity, including many that we have authored! I shared them last week at my presentation on “Exploring Equity” to the Colorado Association of Funders, and wanted to make them available to you as well.


  1. The Road to Achieving Equity: Findings and Lessons from a Field Scan of Foundations That Are Embracing Equity (full article)*
  1. The Road to Achieving Equity: 12 Findings from a Field Scan of Foundations That Are Embracing Equity (2-page summary)*
  1. What the Heck Does “Equity” Mean?* (Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, 9/15/2016)
  1. Foundation Review Special Issue on Racial Equity (co-edited with the Association of Black Foundation Executives)
  1. Raising the Bar – Integrating Cultural Competence and Equity: Equitable Evaluation


  1. PolicyLink is a national leader in equity thought and practice. In particular, see PolicyLink’s Equity Manifesto.
  1. Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) has a list of equity resources.
  1. Grantmakers in Health (GIH) has a rich, searchable database of health equity resources.
  1. D5 Coalition has a rich library garnered during its five-year project to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy.
  1. Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) provides a number of toolkits and reports to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.
  1. Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) targets institutional and structural racism and has a number of publications to share.
  1. The Aspen Institute’s equity resources include Ten Lessons for Taking Leadership on Racial Equity.
  1. The Leadership Learning Community offers Leadership & Race: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, as well as many other resources.
  1. CHANGE Philanthropy works working to integrate equity and social justice into philanthropic practice, and offers a curated list of resources on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Books (recommended by staff at The Denver Foundation):

      1. Let’s Get Real: What people of color can’t say and Whites won’t ask about racismby Lee Mun Wah. Offers exercises like a workbook, but offers insights from real people about their experiences, perspectives and fears.
      1. Equity, Growth & Communityby Manuel Pastor and Chris Benner. A demographic look at America’s metro areas and a compelling argument for why racial equity is key to economic health.

Resources from the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

There are many foundations that have produced reports and resources about equity – more than we can name here. However, through our consulting engagements with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we’ve reviewed and helped develop a number of tools to support race equity in philanthropic practice. Find the items below and more on the Equity and Inclusion page on the Casey website.

      1. Race Matters Toolkit (2004)

Offers concrete guidance to create policies, programs, and products that advance racial equity for vulnerable children, families, and communities of color.

      1. Advancing the Mission: Tools for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (2009)

Tools for hardwiring equity, diversity and inclusion into the culture of an organization.

      1. Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children (2014)

KIDS COUNT report that explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity by comparing how children fare across key milestones at both the state and local levels.

Race for Results Case Studies:

(Check the Casey website for two more case studies coming soon.)

      1. Deploying Casey’s REI Framework: Lessons from the Civic Sites (2016)*

A report that documents the efforts of the Casey Foundation to embed a race equity lens in its work within its Baltimore and Atlanta programs.

      1. Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide: 7 Steps To Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization (2015)

A guide that helps organizations and individuals become change agents for advancing race equity in their work.

We at Putnam Consulting Group are diligent in our pursuit of equity in our society, and specifically in philanthropy. We hope you will utilize this list to gain a deeper understanding of equity as we all continue to learn from the wisdom and experience of others. For more information or to share additional resources for this list, contact Kris Putnam-Walkerly at kris@putnam-consulting.com or 800-598-2102.

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