Make the region better for everyone

Percent of 2023 grantmaking to advance racial &/or economic equity

  • Racial and economic equity 72%
  • Racial equity only 20%
  • Economic equity only 1%
  • Neither 7%
Why it’s important to us

In everything we do, we’re working to make the region better for everyone. We continuously try to understand who is not doing well and focus our resources there.

One way we track how we are doing is understanding how much of our funding is advancing racial and economic equity.

How we’re doing

We’ve had a stated goal since 2012 for at least 50% of all of our funding to advance racial and/or economic equity in the region. We are currently exceeding that goal by quite a bit, as 93% of our 2023 funding meets this standard—up from 91% in 2022 and 18% back in 2012.

This measure reflects just one way we think about equity in our grantmaking. For any issue, we try to understand who is left out and/or not well served by current systems or ways of working. We believe that making the region better for everyone requires us to understand and address equities across the region and in all our efforts. Equity is deeply rooted in our grantmaking, from the application to the program criteria to the selection process to what we ask of grantees in reporting.

What’s next

Top of mind for us is our commitment to place, particularly the challenges and opportunities unique to rural areas within our region. We are actively learning more about the overlaps of race, class and place — and considering how the Foundation’s funding commitments can have the most impact.

We are also rethinking how we track and report funding to better reflect the sovereignty of Native nations and people. We have worked on this through the years for our own practice and for the field—read about some past efforts here—and are committed to going beyond conventional categorizations of race in ways that reflect and respect both history and present-day realities.