Over the last year, we have heard from Latino and African-American experts speaking about why and how you should engage these communities as philanthropists for your cause. One of the key takeaways for me has been that when engaging non-traditional communities, you are not just engaging the wealthy, you are engaging the community as a whole. Engaging people of color as philanthropists also forces nonprofits to really think about how they are serving and investing in these same communities, and the value that the philanthropic sector as a whole is placing on a given community of color. As Shawn Dove, CEO of Black Male Achievement, expressed in their September digital classroom, “You invest in what you value.” What message are we as a sector sending to our society, when only a sliver of the philanthropic funds are going to that community? The more we engage people of color as donors, the more we will be pressed to rethink our investment priorities as a sector.
But racial equity is not the only theme that has been ringing through the corridors of our online conversations. We have also addressed other areas of identity, such as religion. Muhi Khwaja and Safaa Ibrahim from the American Muslim Fund joined us back in October to enlighten us about Zakat, which is an obligatory payment made annually under Islamic law on certain kinds of property and used for charitable and religious purposes.
Finally, we have also addressed other topics important to equity and inclusion, such as the importance for nonprofit talent investment and how funders can support it, diversifying your board, and skills for establishing healthy boundaries at work to overcome burnout and protect your mental health.
This month, we featured Alan Jenkins, president and co-founder of the Opportunity Agenda, who will share practical strategies for how to advance the racial equity conversation in your organization, especially when you are encountering resistance.
You can learn more about Candid’s Racial Equity initiative here, where you can also access recordings of our past conversations.
I look forward to having you join us soon! To learn more about all of our upcoming training opportunities, both in-person and online, please visit GrantSpace, and if you have an idea for a topic you would like us to cover as part of our DEI initiative, please reach out! I always love to hear from you.
This post is reprinted from the GrantSpace Blog.
Julieta Mendez is director of programs at Candid. Her experience in the social sector spans more than 10 years, with roles in grantmaking, fundraising, training, communications, outcomes measurement, and international development. She has extensive experience working both in the US and around the world. As director of programs for the Candid Social Sector Outreach unit, she provides leadership for the organization's online, in-person, and customized training programs.