Candid campaign to measure equitable funding practices


Simon Hungin


Demographics via Candid, a campaign launched publicly online earlier this month, aims to relieve the demographics data-request burden, reducing inefficiencies and allowing nonprofits additional time to devote to their missions.

As a result of both the Covid-19 pandemic and the racial equity movement, philanthropy pledged to reduce barriers and engage in more equitable funding practices.

‘Unfortunately, efforts to collect this data have resulted in a dizzying array of requests, with different questions and categories, that only increases demands on already overburdened nonprofits. This data is often squirrelled away in individual funder silos and not widely accessible, standardized or shared, hindering the sector’s ability to gain a clear understanding of the broader landscape’ said Ann Mei Chang the CEO of Candid, in a statement alongside Dwayne Marsh, the CEO of  Northern California Grantmakers.

Demographics via Candid will provide a standardised benchmark measurement for the entire sector, while also utilising the information gathered to contribute to a universal picture of the sector, and how it is working to encourage more equitable funding practices. Nonprofit demographics data will be freely available for the sector and participants, making the grantmaking process quicker, easier and more efficient for the supported nonprofits.

‘Pledges were made to reduce barriers, shift power, and engage in more equitable funding practices. However, without a comprehensive baseline of the diversity represented within organizations, philanthropy can’t make good on these promises. By better understanding the demographic profile of those organisations that are—and are not—receiving funding, we can more closely track if they are representative of the communities they serve and whether they are getting the support they need to deliver on their missions’ said Michele Dilworth, Senior Director of Partnerships, Candid.

How does it work? Funders ask nonprofits to share their demographic data in one place, one time through their Candid nonprofit profile on GuideStar. The more funders that participate in Demographics via Candid, the less time nonprofits spend collecting, formatting and sending demographic information, allowing them to focus more fully on their missions. The result is a benchmark measurement to determine whether philanthropy is making good on its promises to be more equitable in funding practices. Additionally, funders can provide data on the nonprofits they support to demonstrate and model transparency for the field.

The goal is to together move towards becoming a more effective, efficient and equitable social sector.

Simon Hungin is a freelance writer that supports Alliance magazine.

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