Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation is proud to be leading the foundation sector nationally, in transforming the way we distribute funding to ensure it is equitable, transparent and representative.

We believe it is imperative for philanthropy to become more diverse, inclusive, and equitable in its practices for three main reasons:

  • Advance the common good. Those of us in philanthropy have dedicated ourselves to promoting the common good. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our organisations and grantmaking helps us live up to our values.
  • Increase effectiveness. Diverse perspectives within foundations can help build better relationships with grantees, improve team problem-solving, and lead to better outcomes.
  • Enhance impact. Our constituencies, from the communities we serve to our partners in business and government, are becoming increasingly diverse. We need to understand and reflect this rich variety of perspectives in order to achieve greater impact.

What the DEI Coalition will be doing:

  • Encouraging the sharing of DEI best practice and resources with staff, together with advice and guidance.
  • Enabling staff to develop expertise in a specialist area, with the support of others thereby increasing the chances of success of implementation.
  • Enabling foundations to use a DEI lens in developing grantmaking priorities or finetuning program areas.
  • Encouraging genuine cultivation and maintenance of strong relationships with grantees and community partners.
  • Developing a supportive organisational and inclusive culture that leads to effective grantmaking, more inclusive systems and better representation.

What the DEI Coalition will mean for the wider sector:

Creating a collaborative momentum which advances the work collectively rather than relying on individual efforts.

In the long term, building up a central bank of guidance, advice, and resources for other foundations in the sector to use.

Setting a precedent and sending a signal to other foundations as to the importance of this work in making us more effective grantmakers and providing tangible UK examples of implementation demonstrating success and mistakes.

The 17 foundations include:

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, The Barrow Cadbury Trust,​ Lloyds Bank Foundation,​ City Bridge Trust,​ The Big Lottery Fund,​ Children in Need,​ Paul Hamlyn Foundation, ​ Friends Provident Foundation,​ Quartet Community Foundation,​ Milton Keynes Community Foundation,​ Wiltshire Community Foundation,​ Surrey Community Foundation,​ Leeds Community Foundation,​ Two Ridings Community Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, ​ Comic Relief​ and Lankelly Chase

We are excited at the prospect of our foundation implementing this groundbreaking work and will be posting regular updates as to progress.

Session 1 - Understanding definitions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

“DEI work is not like an on-off light switch, it is more like a dimmer switch that you push up day after day and month after month.”

Jennifer Mizrahi (Disability Inclusion Campaigner)

This introductory session focussed on understanding the definitions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and discussing why this work was important for Foundations.


Understanding Equity and Inequality

Session 2a Understanding Inequality

Unpicking the terms Equity/Equality/Inequality and understanding the picture of inequality in the UK with Fahmida Rahman from the Resolution Foundation.

Understanding Inequality Slides (Fahmida Rahman)

Session 2a Summary Notes

Due to the Covid 19 Crisis and the rapidly changing environment in which foundations are now working, a decision was taken to focus the second session on Equity in grant funding distribution. As these sessions were run over Zoom, they have been split into three parts taking place over 3 weekly sessions’ Below main title Understanding Equity and Inequality

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Session 2b Equity and Covid 19

Understanding the impact of Covid 19 on marginalised groups. Analysing the latest research into the disproportional impact on specific communities and discussing how foundations can provide an appropriate response

All downloadable documents

ONS Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain.
Are some ethnic groups more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others
Nusrat’s Presentation
Grantmaking Checklist
Crises Collide Women and Covid19


Session 2c Operationalising Equity in Grantmaking

Session 3 - Data, Data, Data

In this session, the coalition focused on the use and collection of data. Why is it important to collect data? What data should funders be collecting and how should it inform your strategy? The Arts Council also kindly provided us with a case study.