2020 Time, Treasure, Talent, & Testimony Report

The decisions made around giving and grantmaking are frequently disconnected from the communities that could benefit the most. Communities have the skill, insight, wisdom, and motivation to contribute to guiding the allocation of resources and participate in decision-making for their communities; we just have to listen.

Where resources are allocated needs to be reflective of the diversity and interests of the various communities these resources intend to serve. Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) seeks to address this gap by engaging communities (particularly women) of color as philanthropists within and for their communities. Through self-reflection and collective learning, philanthropy can be a catalyst for change.

“Our intention when starting this work was to challenge our own assumptions about giving and the capacity to give, develop a body of knowledge that could shine a light on the many amazing ways women of color are leading as philanthropists in their families, communities and throughout our region.” – Felicia Davis, President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women

At the core of the effort to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in fundraising is the need for any fundraising entity to embrace cultural humility. Cultural humility seeks to rectify a history of exclusion in the field of philanthropy and build a constructive, learning, and loving relationship with communities.

CFW partnered with BECOME: Center for Community Engagement and Social Change to conduct a formative evaluation to determine what drives philanthropic giving and volunteer time among women/communities of color and how to engage, expand, and sustain giving more deeply.

This evaluation was made possible by the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.