Make the region better for everyone

Percent of 2022 grantmaking to advance racial &/or economic equity

  • Racial and economic equity 71%
  • Racial equity only 14%
  • Economic equity only 6%
  • Neither 9%
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 91% of our funding now meets this standard. This is compared to 18% in 2012.

We are making progress on this indicator — and we aren’t trying to reach 100%. While we consider the impact of race and class in all our grantmaking, we keep a high bar for including any funding in this measure. So, it will not include some efforts in which the primary objective is to address other critical issues, like climate change or disability inclusion.

This measure reflects just one way we think about equity in our grantmaking. For any issue, we try to understand who is disadvantaged or is not well served by current ways of working. Depending on the issue, this could be where someone lives, their religion, their language, etc. We believe that our purpose of making the region better for everyone requires us to understand and address inequities across all our work. 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

Looking ahead, we will continue to look for great opportunities to make a difference on race and class-based equity as well as understanding other gaps that make a big difference in the wellbeing of people in this region.

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.