Philanthropy Ohio Racial Equity Capacity Assessment


As funders locally and nationally seek to address racial equity internally and within their communities, Philanthropy Ohio launched a Racial Equity Capacity Assessment (RECA) for Ohio foundations in April 2021. The online assessment evaluates internal racial equity practices, policies and culture as well as external practices related to grantmaking, convening and nonprofit partners. Philanthropy Ohio will share a collective report of the assessment’s findings later this year. 

Racial Equity Peer Learning Cohort

In addition to the Racial Equity Capacity Assessment, Philanthropy Ohio will also launch a new Racial Equity Peer Learning Cohort this summer, where you can connect, learn and share with your peers over the next year about advancing racial equity work. Completing the RECA is a prerequisite for participating in the cohort, which will be fee-based and due to its design, will be limited to 12 participants.

Philanthropy Ohio RECA Frequently Asked Questions

When is the assessment open?
Registration to participate in the assessment is open now until Friday, April 30, 2021. The online assessment will open in early April and close on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Who should complete the assessment?
We recommend that three people from each organization complete the assessment (i.e., for larger organizations, this could be the CEO, a member of senior leadership and another staff member). For those with smaller staffs, this could be one staff and one board member at minimum. You will get a fuller, more accurate snapshot of your racial equity work if multiple staff with different perspectives and lived experiences take the assessment and the results will be even more useful in your journey toward racial equity.

What information does the assessment gather? 

  • Demographics about your organization and respondents
  • Internal racial equity practices, policies and culture
  • External efforts related to grantmaking and opportunities for nonprofit partners
  • Successes, challenges, future supports and needs

As you answer the survey, it may be helpful to have the following handy, if they exist:

  • Equity definitions adopted by your organization
  • Staff handbook and/or internal policies
  • Investment strategy documents
  • Board and staff demographic information

Registrants will get a PDF of the questions in advance to use as a reference in completing the RECA.

How long does the assessment take to complete?
It will vary based on your familiarity with your organization’s practices and policies. Your time commitment to take the assessment is vital to document the comprehensive topics about both your organization’s internal and external work regarding racial equity.

Is the assessment confidential?
Yes; individual responses and identifying information will not be shared.

When will we get the results?
Each organization will receive a comprehensive organizational profile this summer. An aggregate analysis report will be compiled and released in the fall. 

Why should my organization participate?
As a foundation leader, the results of the assessment will help you gauge your current capacity to engage in racial equity work, track your progress over time and benchmark your organization against your peers in the state. The assessment will also allow Philanthropy Ohio to benchmark and track the progress of the philanthropic field in Ohio over time and identify needs and opportunities to best lead and serve funders.

How was the assessment developed?
The assessment was developed in collaboration with Kip Holley of K. Holley Consulting, LLC whose expertise includes research, civic engagement and community advocacy. The assessment was designed specifically for Ohio funders, incorporating concepts from existing assessment tools, which include: 

  • D5 Coalition’s Analysis of Policies, Practices, and Programs for Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
  • Equity in the Center’s Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture.
  • Philadelphia Philanthropy Network’s Survey of Members: Equity in Operations, Grantmaking, and Investments.
  • United Philanthropy Forum’s Journey Toward Racial Equity: PSO Racial Equity Capacity Assessment.
  • Training Our Campuses Against Racism (TOCAR) Collaborative Campus and Community Climate Survey for Students
  • YouthTruth Student Survey 

Why is the assessment focused primarily on racial equity?
Philanthropy Ohio is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization and in Ohio’s philanthropic sector. While acknowledging the importance of all forms of equity, Philanthropy Ohio chose to lead with racial equity and address its intersectionality with other marginalized identities.