The Funders Network promotes funding and philanthropic leadership that allows all people the opportunity to live in more environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities.

We believe that structural racism, inequity, and other social disparities are the root cause of our environmental and economic challenges. As a network, we are committed to questioning, challenging and confronting the systemic racial inequities and injustices that persist as malign influences on our policies, practices, and psyches.

Because the needs and perspectives of people of color, immigrant and refugees, and the poor are often unheard and systematically disregarded in decisions impacting every aspect of their lives, TFN is committed to helping funders understand and address racism, economic inequality and the imbalance of power while engendering community-driven solutions.  In so doing, the network embraces the diversity of our members and partners, and we are committed to lifting-up and amplifying the expertise and experiences of those  communities who are least heard.

Our Approach

We have currently undertaken a strategic planning effort, including a new equity framework, that will build upon our foundational values in ways that are interdisciplinary and cross-cutting across our range of programmatic offerings and learning opportunities. We are committed to creating a community of funders equipped with the tools to challenge and confront the power dynamics and structural racism that have historically fostered inequities and informed policies and practices.

TFN’s approach to advancing racial equity and inclusion continues to evolve. Among our current practices, the network is committed to:

  1. Employing and engaging people from different backgrounds, communities, and experiences as staff, directors, volunteers, and participating funders.
  2. Ensuring board members receive training on racial equity, implicit bias and inclusion.
  3. Leveraging the network’s collective knowledge and relationships to encourage its members to advance equity and inclusiveness in their organizations and through their grantees.
  4. Providing tools and resources to our members to help them be more inclusive. (See our Equity Resources section below.)
  5. Producing opportunities for professional development and learning that advance understanding of issues related to race, equity and inclusion, including regular peer-learning events, webinars, and TFN’s equity-focused PLACES Fellowship.
  6. Creating and amplifying stories that share how TFN members have advanced equity and inclusiveness through their work.
  7. Embedding an equity lens into the planning and preparation of TFN events, including ensuring that speakers, session designers and others engaged in the process represent a diversity of voices, backgrounds and lived experiences.
  8. Providing TFN’s team of staff and contractors with ongoing internal training and coaching that ensures the values of racial equity, inclusion and diversity are represent throughout all facets of TFN’s work in ways that are meaningful and impactful.