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 for Ohio foundations in Spring 2021 with the overview report and executive summary published in January 2022. The assessment evaluated funders’ internal racial equity practices, policies and culture as well as external practices related to grantmaking, convening and community partners.


Funders on the Journey captures a snapshot in time of the racial equity journeys of 24 funders in Ohio. This collection of reflections and data builds on our 15-year history of work engaging philanthropy in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts that offer the opportunity for our members – from those just beginning to think about equity work to those well along on their journey – to get a sense of where they are on their individual journeys. This report compiles, analyzes and presents anonymized collective data and insights that illuminate the efforts, aspirations, successes and challenges of participating funders as they strive toward racial justice.

Key Findings

Analysis of the assessment results identify four primary themes: capacity building; racial equity journey; prioritization; and outreach and engagement. Overall, the results paint a picture of organizations at various levels of development and action in areas related to racial equity. As captured in the Executive Summary: 

  1. Respondents indicated that their organizations had a growing awareness and desire to address barriers to racial equity.
  2. Surveys reveal a need for resources and prioritization among leadership and sector peers, as well as a need to increase understanding and comfortability with topics related to race and social equity.
  3. All the responding organizations appear to be making progress toward planning and implementing relevant strategies at a similar rate.
  4. Many of the surveyed organizations are planning or implementing many of the strategies related to advancing their organization’s efforts to learn more about racial equity and make it a more visible part of their organization’s culture. 

At a time when philanthropic organizations – like the rest of the nation – find themselves in transition regarding their relationship to racial justice and seek to develop a comprehensive racial justice identity, we hope that this report provides a source of inspiration to action for not only the assessment participants but also for the philanthropic sector across Ohio and beyond.

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 expand from there to address its intersectionality with other marginalized identities. Stay tuned for more information to take advantage of these opportunities and gain valuable insight individually and collectively on the journey to promote racial equity and partner for change in our communities. To learn more about Philanthropy Ohio’s diversity, equity and inclusion work, please visit


The survey collected a total of 105 data points over a series of 34 questions from 51 respondents representing 24 organizations. Question types ranged from short and long answer to multiple choice and Likert-style queries. Therefore, several different methodologies were required to facilitate data analysis and reporting.

About the Researcher 
Kip Holley is an independent consultant and sole proprietor of K Holley Consulting, LLC. Kip works to consult nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental organizations on issues related to racial equity. Additionally, Kip is currently employed as a Research Associate at The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University. His primary areas of focus include evaluation and assessment research and practice with a lens of racial equity, as well as designing and facilitating organizational assessment and evaluation projects informed by racial equity research. Over his decade-long career at Kirwan, Kip has designed, administered and contributed to several assessments.