Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

MPC participates in United Philanthropy Forum’s annual Racial Equity Capacity Assessment

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Honesty and transparency are critical when it comes to advancing equity – it allows others and ourselves to hold the organization accountable to our commitment to reflection, learning, and action. One of the hardest parts of doing this work is that it is often incremental and that the more honed our analysis becomes, the more work we realize we have yet to do.

To this end, we have committed to participating in the United Philanthropy Forum’s annual Racial Equity Capacity Assessment – a tool facilitated by the national philanthropy serving organization (PSO) membership organization that allows us to better understand how we are doing year over year, and vs. our peers.

2022 was our first year of participating in this, and we learned where we excel and where we fall behind similar organizations.

Key Observations
  1. MPC lags our peers in racial board diversity – a gap that we are keenly aware of and are committed to closing. We are doing this in a number of ways including: being intentional about our board recruitment process to prioritize diversification and re-evaluating board governance with an equity lens.
  2. We are excelling at community engagement – the benchmarks show that we, more than our peers, seek input from and empower our community. Our commitment to community feedback and engagement isn’t simply a way to make people feel more involved in our work – it is integral to our effectiveness and how we are working towards more equity among those doing the work on the ground and those funding it.
  3. Data collection emerges as a priority – it was no surprise that this benchmark was so low for our organization, and it is an area we’ve identified for growth. Over the next year, we aim to develop clear indicators for our commitment to racial equity that we can publicly share, in addition to what’s seen within this report.

You can find the full report and MPC’s unique results here. To find out more about the United Philanthropy Forum's racial equity scan, read their 2021 report “Advancing Racial Equity in Philanthropy: A Scan of Philanthropy-Serving Organizations”.

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