Funders' umbrella group makes diversity improvement pledge as part of five-year strategy

The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) has launched a five-year strategy with a focus on improving equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in funding.

The pledge includes improvements in EDI both across funders' work and for the umbrella group for trusts and foundations itself.

As part of its new strategy, it wants to see “diverse, vibrant and effective foundations, working together for social good”.

This includes new objectives for the ACF to “advance diversity and inclusion”, support foundations and promote partnership working.

In its strategy the ACF is pledging to “gather and share data to deepen our understanding of barriers to, and support progress towards, diversity, equity and inclusion”.

“We define diversity broadly to include various elements of human difference, including race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender, faith and class,” states the strategy.

“We also recognise the intersectional nature of identity and the complex and cumulative ways that different forms of discrimination based on these attributes combine, overlap and intersect.”

The strategy is based on consultation with more than 400 ACF members.

“Our members were telling us about the challenges they see, specifically around addressing inequalities, the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing impact of the pandemic,” said ACF chief executive Carol Mack.

“They also want to respond to the climate crisis, act more on diversity, equity and inclusion and work together on stronger grant-making and investment practice.”

ACF chair Jessica Brown added: “Foundations and trusts embody the belief that things can be better; mobilising funding, resources, and expertise to support people, communities, and a wide range of charitable causes.

“At their best, foundations are the most transparent, intentional, and efficient way of transforming private wealth into public benefit.

“This strategy sets ACF’s vision of diverse, vibrant and effective foundations working together for social good. We’re looking forward to working with and for members on this over the next five years.”

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