We recognize that philanthropy has long been hampered by the sector’s failure to hire people who reflect the communities that its institutions serve. At the San Francisco Foundation, equity, inclusion, and diversity are core to the success of our internal operations, and to our external impact in the community. We’re making efforts to establish a culture where staff can bring their full selves to work. We’re recruiting a diverse team with lived experiences that deepen our understanding of the Bay Area’s greatest challenges. And we’re applying a stronger equity lens to our grantmaking practices. In these ways, we’re bringing our best ideas forward in order to have the greatest impact possible.
But we are by no means done with this work. This is a journey, and we still have a long way to go. We welcome your feedback to help us along the way. Send your questions or comments to marketingandcommunications[at]sff.org.
We aim to establish a culture and workplace that is fair, inclusive and just. A culture where staff are recognized for their full selves and their voices are valued within an organization that is accountable to providing equitable access to resources and opportunities. We’re making the following efforts to advance equity within our organization:
- Hiring increasingly diverse staff
- Adopting more equitable personnel policies and benefits for all staff
- Contracting with diverse, mission-aligned vendors and consultants
Since deepening our commitment to equity in 2016, we’ve been able to attract an increasingly diverse team that better reflects the communities that we serve. In 2016, 56 percent of staff identified as a person of color. By 2018, that number had risen to 75 percent.In November of 2018, foundation staff participated in a voluntary survey to help us gain a broader understanding of staff diversity. At that time, we employed 74 full-time staff members. Sixty-eight full-time staff members (92 percent) took part in the survey. The following charts convey the point-in-time data that we captured.
Race/ethnicity: 75 percent of San Francisco Foundation staff identified as a person of color. By comparison, 24 percent of staff at foundations across the country identified as a racial/ethnic minority, according to the Council on Foundations’ 2016 study, The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic Sector.
Nationally, 12 percent of foundation executives are minorities, according to the Council on Foundations’ study. At the San Francisco Foundation, 71 percent of executives are people of color.
Gender: 73 percent of San Francisco Foundation staff identified as female; 26 percent identified as male and 2 percent identified as other. This is similar to the gender makeup across the sector, according to the Council on Foundations’ study, which reported 77 percent women.
Age: 23 percent of San Francisco Foundation staff identified as falling in the 18 to 29 age group, 23 percent in the 30 to 39 age group, 21 percent in the 40 to 49 age group, 21 percent in the 50 to 59 age group, and 12 percent in the 60 and older age group. The Council on Foundations’ report did not include data for comparable age breakdowns.
More specifically, 17 percent of staff under 40, and 31 percent of staff over 40 report that they are white. This is in contrast to the broader field. According to the Council on Foundations’ report, 68 percent of staff under 40 and 78 percent of staff over 40 are white.
Ability: 90 percent of San Francisco Foundation staff identified as a person without a disability, 8 percent as a person with a disability, and 3 percent as “other.” The Council on Foundations’ report indicated that only 20 percent of foundations responded to questions about staff with disabilities and among those only 1 percent of foundations indicated that they had staff with disabilities.
In 2016, we deepened our long-held commitment to social justice by focusing our entire program strategy on racial equity and economic inclusion. Two years later, we released a report that details the process by which we shifted our focus (read Advancing Equity: Re-imagining the Ways a Community Foundation Delivers on its Mission). We’ve made a conscious effort to fund grantees that are led by diverse leadership. And with each open application cycle, we’re continuing to refine the ways in which we measure and fund equity in our grantmaking.
70 percent of the organizations that we funded in our 2018 equity grants open cycle featured a majority people-of-color leadership team. Among the organizations that we funded in our 2018 equity grants open cycle, 34 were led by a black executive director, 16 were led by an Asian American executive director, and 15 were led by a Latinx executive director. We are evaluating additional measures of equity, inclusion, and diversity in our grantmaking, and look forward to sharing updates with you in the near future.