External changes to grantmaking practices are not enough for foundations seeking to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many philanthropic organizations have not yet fully grasped the need for an even more direct intervention: addressing internal equity challenges.
Knowledge management, an intentional strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time to improve organizational performance, can offer a compelling path to address those challenges. Mapping how and through whom knowledge flows within an organization can reveal potential inequities, repression, exclusion, and lack of opportunity, allowing for the creation of targeted, sustainable solutions. This December 2020 webinar, hosted by Donita Volkwijn and Mae Hong, provides insight on how effective knowledge management can help donors advance equity and inclusion goals internally.
Questions for your Organization
For donors and funders interested in exploring the relationship between knowledge management and equity, here are a few reflection questions to get a conversation started.
- How is internal knowledge used as a proxy for power in my organization?
- What hinders the right information from getting to the right people at the right time in my organization?
- In what way have internal operations and practices inflicted trauma on people of color in my organization?
- Where can I start building trust in my organization?
Practical Knowledge Management Tools
There are many resources available to help organizations take the next step on a journey to advance equity through knowledge management. A simple search will offer myriad choices from which to identify the best model for your organization:
- After Action Review
- Knowledge Retention Process
- Systems Bias Review
- Organizational Network Analysis
The Philanthropy Framework: an analysis and planning tool to help philanthropies better align their resources for impact in a rapidly changing world. In providing insight on social compact, charter, and operating model, it gives a framework of reverence for considering and addressing internal culture and structures.
Racial Equity Tools: a website dedicated to capturing and sharing tools for racial equity work.
Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial Equity is an article from the Foundation Review that highlights how certain practices of foundations overlook key aspects of inequity.
Annie E. Casey Foundation Toolkit: created as a resource for other foundations, this publication provides an in-depth example of what the foundation accomplished with their growing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The Power of KM: a book by Brent N. Hunter that explains how an intentional approach to knowledge management can transform organizations.
Knowledge Management Basics: a book by Christee Gabour Atwood that provides clear steps for creating knowledge management strategies.
For additional information on workshops, organizational assessments, or customized training for philanthropic donors, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.