Diversity, equity and inclusion

ACF's report The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion sets out nine characteristics of excellent practice. On this page, you will find practical resources and support to help you in pursuit of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive foundation sector, and we are builidng a bank of resources on different aspects.

We will keep updating this page, and will be adding resources relating to other aspects. If you have anything you’d like to share, please email policy@acf.org.uk.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Good Practice Recommendations for Funders in a Covid-19 Context

As part of coordination efforts between Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) and non-government bodies and funders, an equity and inclusion working group was established, and included members of staff from National Lottery Community Fund, Comic Relief, NCVO, and DCMS, and the Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Coalition. Its role was to develop recommendations for integrating a DEI lens to inform and support key non-government and government stakeholders in the implementation of civil society funding as part of Covid-19 efforts. The group has worked with funders, lived experience representatives and infrastructure bodies representing groups highly impacted by Covid-19. The aim is to support funding bodies to improve visibility, access, uptake of funding programs by disproportionately impacted groups and communities, and processes for dialogue and accountability. 

Grant Givers’ Movement

This collective of grant-making staff has focused on exploring issues of power and trust in funding. Its bank of good practice compiles various resources including ways to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the foundation sector.

DEI Coalition

The DEI Coalition is a group of 17 UK foundations looking to improve their own and the sector’s practice around diversity, equity and inclusion. One of its leading members, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, shares resources, notes and updates from the coalition on its website. It includes a self-assessment checklist and a spectrum tool, both of which help foundations identify how and where they might make progress along their journey.

London Funders

Ubele, Women’s Resource Centre, Consortium and Inclusion London have been working on developing a London specific funding framework detailing the principles and practice they believe are most effective at reducing structural inequality In this blog they share their thoughts on how to move towards justice.



Foundations, covid-19 and racial disparity: A time for urgent action

ACF hosted a webinar in June 2020 with an expert panel sharing their take on foundation responses to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on BAME people. You can watch the webinar here and below


Grant-making with a racial justice lens: A practical guide
(Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, 2019)

This guide offers practical tools for foundations to implement a racial justice lens to their work. Developed in the US, it was recently revised to incorporate the progress made and challenges faced by foundations in pursuing these aims.

Resourcing Racial Justice

The Resourcing Racial Justice fund is a coalition of people of colour (POC) innovators, change makers, activists, artists and social leaders dedicated to social change. Together, we have established a new UK wide-funding pool to support individuals and communities working towards racial justice. It is open to donations from both foundations and individual philanthropists.

Funders’ Alliance for Race Equality

This collaborative of foundations meets regularly to share learning and progress made in its pursuit of race equality. Equally Ours acts as secretariat, and you can read more about its early thinking here. It has developed an audit tool to help foundations decide what actions need to be taken; you can watch a webinar on how it works here, watch the downloaded presentation here and download the spreadsheet here.

Home Truths: Undoing racism and delivery real diversity in the charity sector 
(ACEVO and Voice4Change England, 2020)

This report centres the experiences and expertise of over 500 BAME people surveyed on their experiences of working in the charity sector. Not only is it valuable research, it points to areas of culture and practice that are particularly problematic and where charities, including foundations, can seek to make changes.

Charity So White

Charity So White highlights the lack of diversity in the charity sector. It published a position paper on racial injustice in the covid-19 response, which includes recommendations for action for government and for funders. Having closed its live position paper, Charity So White explains in this blog how it is shifting its attention towards ensuring recovery plans will tackle the socioeconomic and societal injustices that have led to BAME people disproportionately being in lower income and high occupancy households.

Future Foundations UK

This network of minoritised racial groups in the foundation sector offers a supportive space to connect, create and lead change. It recently published a statement on the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on people of colour, highlighting urgent issues and making practical recommendations for action by foundations.

Why are funders still failing BAME charities?

In this blog, Fadi Itani from the Muslim Charities Forum looks at funding in the covid-19 era and asks why funders are still failing BAME charities, using Muslim charities as a case study. He also makes recommendations, which include building capacity and confidence, raising awareness, and increasing workstream and board diversity.

Recruiting trustees from Black and Asian networks

In this article, Malcolm John, who leads the Action for Trustee Racial Diversity initiative, explores how charities can recruit new trustees. He discusses a database he has built of Black and Asian network organisations, and makes suggestions as to what charities might do to increase the racial diversity of their boards. Malcolm also wrote this blog for the Association of Chairs on why charities should focus on racial diversity.

CORE (Coalition of Race Equality Organisations)

CORE brings together many of the UK’s leading black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations for the promotion of race equality, including a mixture of place-based and national organisations.

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