Blogs 29th October 2019 1 minute read

ACF's Stronger Foundations - View from our corner

We were pleased to see the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) Stronger Foundations report  and we welcome a sector thinking with such rigour and honesty about diversity, equity and inclusion.

It’s a serious report, written by serious people. But the news is stark. And the fact that we’re still having this conversation tells us that we need radical change, and so far it’s not happening. And not everyone’s taking it seriously yet – results from the Newton’s recent survey of charity investments reports that in the charities they spoke to (a cadre of those with significant investments, so they might look and think a bit like foundations) 42% of respondents were satisfied with their board diversity, up 4% from last year.

At Green Park, we know three things about the foundations sector:

  • We have the most interesting, challenging and thoughtful conversations with leaders here,
  • When you know one foundation, you know one foundation and,
  • Foundation leaders don’t want to be lectured by head-hunters about diversity

And (fourth thing) we’ve worked with foundations who have fantastic, diverse boards – JRF, Lankelly Chase, Lloyds Bank, Local Trust, Foundation for Future London, to name a few.

If you’ve read the report and you want to do something, as with any change decision, apply data, evidence and user experience. What matters are the decisions you take, recruitment by recruitment.

So here’s a series of questions, and a plan.

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*Building a pipeline is key. There will only be diverse senior leaders in five years time if you appoint people throughout your organisation. Have coffee with everyone who applies for any role who ‘isn’t quite ready’ but has potential, at any level. Stay in touch with them.

Making your organisation more diverse is perfectly doable. What matters is the decisions you take, appointment by appointment, to create better, more robust and more equitable organisations, now and in the future.

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