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Equity in Philanthropy

Equity in Philanthropy Cohort

As a continuation of Philanthropy Network’s comprehensive Equity in Philanthropy initiative, in spring 2019 we launched the inaugural Equity Cohort for foundations ready to take a deep-dive into this work and fully embrace a commitment to equity.
Daria TorresFor the 12-month immersive program, 12 foundations participated in a peer-based experience with constructive support for implementing change. The cohort was led by Daria Torres, Managing Partner of the Walls Torres Group (read more about Daria). The central framework for the year-long process was the Equity Maturity Model (EqMM) which focuses on 12 dimensions of practice and offers an operational and developmental path to institutionalizing an organization’s commitment to equity. By assessing current performance, clarifying gaps, and identifying concrete opportunities for learning and growth, foundations can begin implementing change and measuring results against a baseline organizational assessment.
Recognizing that no none has fully mastered every aspect of this work and everyone is starting at different points, the model and this program accommodateed the spectrum of maturity levels. To participate in the inaugural cohort, one executive and one board member/trustee from each foundation committed to joining in-person cohort meetings throughout the year. Additionally, each foundation received six hours of customized consultation with Daria Torres, with the option to include staff, board members, and/or key community members in the work.

The 12 organizations who participated in the inaugural Equity Cohort were:

  • Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation
  • Brandywine Health Foundation
  • The Alfred and Mary Douty Foundation
  • Samuel S. Fels Fund
  • Impact100  Philadelphia
  • Independence Public Media Foundation
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Philadelphia
  • Pennsylvania Humanities Council
  • Philadelphia Bar Foundation
  • The Presser Foundation
  • The Scattergood Foundation
  • Women’s Way

The cohort kicked-off on May 28, 2019 and held its final meeting  in May, 2020.

The Equity Cohort is supported by a leadership gift from the Scattergood Foundation and is a component of Philanthropy Network’s comprehensive Equity in Philanthropy initiative, which is made possible with the support of the William Penn Foundation and the Samuel S. Fels Fund and led by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

Field Impact and Equity Scan

In May 2019, Philanthropy Network launched a Field Impact and Equity Scan to learn more about the state of regional philanthropic practices and to gain a better understanding of the needs of the membership as they relate to considerations of equity. Through a grant from the William Penn Foundation, we’ve partnered with Equal Measure – a local firm with extensive experience in evaluation and learning and a dedicated focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion – to administer two surveys of Philanthropy Network's membership: an organizational survey to learn about approaches and practices around grantmaking, investments, and operations, and a staff and board survey to capture the demographic characteristics of Greater Philadelphia’s philanthropic sector.

With the full understanding that our members are at varying stages of their thinking about equity, we strongly encouraged full participation in this study in order to help us learn more about our sector and produce baseline measures on the regional philanthropic sector relating to issues of equity.

At the conclusion of this scan, Equal Measure will perform a thorough analysis of survey responses and we will share the findings with the Network in a report. This report will benefit us all as we learn together and work towards increasing the effectiveness and impact of philanthropy.