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ETB Blogs

Elizabeth Waetzig: On the Field—Strategic Directions for Grantmakers

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) launched their strategic direction on February 28, 2024, at the Candid offices in lower Manhattan. I was so happy to attend and listen to their discussion about the journey leading to their strategic direction and their hopes as they carry out their mission. They continue their long-term work of transforming philanthropic culture and practice so that Grantmakers work in service of nonprofits and communities. It was particularly exciting to me to see how aligned this strategic direction is with the values, beliefs, and goals of Expanding the Bench® (ETB).   
For example, GEO believes at its core that centering philanthropic practice in racial equity principles is the key to supporting thriving nonprofits and communities. Leaders used the term intersectional racial equity to center racial equity which is often overlooked with an acknowledgement that people experience oppression and marginalization based on multiple and intersecting identities. This elegant approach felt both inclusive and transparent about their objectives and motivations.
The strategic direction is focused on transformative goals which include interconnected areas of culture, practice, learning, and community. These goals underscore the imperative of grounding philanthropic culture in intersectional racial equity, advancing responsive and equitable practices, fostering a learning mindset, and effectively collaborating within a larger ecosystem to advance equity across sectors. 

We, at Expanding the Bench, believe that culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE) when practiced in partnership with Funders can help to ground philanthropic work in equity as defined by the community.  We also believe that Evaluators from diverse racial and ethnic background bring both CREE practice and lived experience and are, therefore, uniquely situated to foster a learning mindset. At ETB, we are committed to centering Evaluators from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds who practice CREE, engaging the entire evaluation ecosystem in equitable practice, and connecting all into a community who, together, shift power toward justice.   
We look forward to a robust partnership with GEO and their members.  We hope you see many of you in May at their conference in Los Angeles. 

~ Elizabeth Waetzig, ETB Co-Director