Diversity, equity and inclusion resources

On this page, you will find practical resources and support to help you in pursuit of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive foundation sector, and we are building a bank of resources on different aspects.

We will keep updating this page, and will be adding resources relating to other aspects. If you have anything you’d like to share, please email [email protected].

ACF's report The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice: Diversity, equity and inclusion, sets out nine characteristics of excellent practice.

Diversity, equity and inclusion - The pillars of stronger foundation practice 



Diversity, equity and inclusion

The pillars of stronger foundation practice

October 2019



Diversity, equity and inclusion resources

Good Practice Recommendations for Funders in a Covid-19 Context

As part of coordination efforts between Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) and non-government bodies and funders, an equity and inclusion working group was established, and included members of staff from National Lottery Community Fund, Comic Relief, NCVO, and DCMS, and the Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Coalition. Its role was to develop recommendations for integrating a DEI lens to inform and support key non-government and government stakeholders in the implementation of civil society funding as part of Covid-19 efforts. 

The group has worked with funders, lived experience representatives and infrastructure bodies representing groups highly impacted by Covid-19. The aim is to support funding bodies to improve visibility, access, uptake of funding programs by disproportionately impacted groups and communities, and processes for dialogue and accountability. 

Grant Givers' Movement

This collective of grant-making staff has focused on exploring issues of power and trust in funding. Its bank of good practice compiles various resources including ways to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the foundation sector. Find out more.

DEI Coalition

The DEI Coalition is a group of 17 UK foundations looking to improve their own and the sector’s practice around diversity, equity and inclusion. One of its leading members, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, shares resources, notes and updates from the coalition on its website. It includes a self-assessment checklist and a spectrum tool, both of which help foundations identify how and where they might make progress along their journey.

London Funders

Ubele, Women’s Resource Centre, Consortium and Inclusion London have been working on developing a London specific funding framework detailing the principles and practice they believe are most effective at reducing structural inequality.

In this blog they share their thoughts on how to move towards justice.

DEI Data Standard

The DEI Data Group is an independent working group convened by Fozia Irfan and Josh Cockroft, and includes a range of foundations and funders from across the United Kingdom.

The key thread that connects these foundations is the understanding that without an effective framework to capture DEI data there can be no effective action to identify and target funding to address structural inequalities. This led to the creation of the DEI Data Standard. 

"Linguistic Expectations": Putting the right words into practice

ACF hosted a workshop (below) exploring practical and inclusive solutions to language barriers facing grant applicants. The session followed on from a blog by Dana Kohava Segal, with helpful suggestions for funders to help turn DEI intentions into actions.

Equality Impact Investment Project (EIIP)

The Equality Impact Investment Project (EIIP) aims to harness social impact investing to advance Sustainable Development Goal 10 – reducing inequality – in the UK and beyond. It brings together the fields of social impact investing with equality and human rights to build a new one: Equality Impact Investing. Find out more about this field and work underway in the Equality Impact toolkit, knowledge hub and UK Taskforce.


Race resources

Foundations, covid-19 and racial disparity: A time for urgent action

ACF hosted a webinar (below) in June 2020 with an expert panel sharing their take on foundation responses to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on ethnically minoritised people.

Grant-making with a racial justice lens: a practical guide

(Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, 2019)

This guide offers practical tools for foundations to implement a racial justice lens to their work. Developed in the US, it was recently revised to incorporate the progress made and challenges faced by foundations in pursuing these aims.

Resourcing Racial Justice

The Resourcing Racial Justice fund is a coalition of people of colour (POC) innovators, change makers, activists, artists and social leaders dedicated to social change. Together, we have established a new UK wide-funding pool to support individuals and communities working towards racial justice. It is open to donations from both foundations and individual philanthropists.

Funders' Alliance for Race Equality

This collaborative of foundations meets regularly to share learning and progress made in its pursuit of race equality. Equally Ours acts as secretariat, and you can read more about its early thinking here. It has developed an audit tool to help foundations decide what actions need to be taken.

You can watch a webinar on how it works, view the downloaded presentation and also download the spreadsheet

In April 2021 the Alliance published a report providing 'A quantitative analysis of the emergency funding to the UK Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary Sector During Covid-19'.

The report analyses the amount and purpose of 34 emergency funds awarded between March and November 2020.

Home truths: Undoing racism and delivery real diversity in the charity sector

(ACEVO and Voice4Change England, 2020)

This report centres the experiences and expertise of over 500 Black and minority ethnic people surveyed on their experiences of working in the charity sector. Not only is it valuable research, it points to areas of culture and practice that are particularly problematic and where charities, including foundations, can seek to make changes.

Charity So White

Charity So White highlights the lack of diversity in the charity sector. It published a position paper on racial injustice in the Covid-19 response, which includes recommendations for action for government and for funders.

Having closed its live position paper, Charity So White explains in this blog how it is shifting its attention towards ensuring recovery plans will tackle the socioeconomic and societal injustices that have led to Black and minority ethnic people disproportionately being in lower income and high occupancy households.

Future Foundations UK

This network of minoritised racial groups in the foundation sector offers a supportive space to connect, create and lead change. It published a statement on the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on people of colour, highlighting urgent issues and making practical recommendations for action by foundations, as well as a statement on the funding sector's response to racial justice since 2020.

Why are funders still failing ethnically minoritised charities?

In this blog, Fadi Itani from the Muslim Charities Forum looks at funding in the Covid-19 era and asks why funders are still failing ethnically minoritised charities, using Muslim charities as a case study.

He also makes recommendations, which include building capacity and confidence, raising awareness, and increasing workstream and board diversity

Recruiting trustees from Black and Asian networks

In this article, Malcolm John, who leads the Action for Trustee Racial Diversity initiative, explores how charities can recruit new trustees.

He discusses a database he has built of Black and Asian network organisations, and makes suggestions as to what charities might do to increase the racial diversity of their boards.

Malcolm also wrote this blog for the Association of Chairs on why charities should focus on racial diversity.

Getting on Board

Getting on Board is a charity which supports people from all sectors of society to become charity board trustees, and charities to recruit and retain a diverse range of trustees.

CORE (Coalition of Race Equality Organisations)

CORE brings together many of the UK’s leading black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations for the promotion of race equality, including a mixture of place-based and national organisations.

Baobab Foundation

Baobab is a community-led foundation set up in November 2020 to support, grow and strengthen Black and Global Majority communities and community organisations led by Black and Global Majority people. Read their Digging Deeper Report, analysing interviews with funders who support communities impacted by racial injustice in the UK.

The Ubele Initiative

The Ubele Initiative is an African Diaspora led intergenerational social enterprise helping to build more sustainable communities across the UK. Their Booska Paper draws on interviews with funders and with Black and minoritised infrastructure and grassroot organisations, and provides concrete and tangible steps that funders take to address structural racism in the sector.