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New Year, Same Commitment: An Update on Spruce’s Commitment to Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization

The Spruce Foundation is committed to incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into every aspect of our organization. Over the summer, we shared our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization and compiled a list of resources to learn more about anti-racism and a few local organizations who are doing incredible work in advancing equity.  

We have said it before and we will say it again – we have a lot of work to do in this space. We recognize that we have not always successfully integrated DEI principles into our work. To rectify this, we developed a strategic plan with specific diversity, equity and inclusion goals, both organization-wide and committee-specific in the fall of 2019, in order to ensure we were incorporating DEI approaches in our work on every level. We further refined these goals in our 2020 strategic planning process, however the overall commitment remains the same.

What are our DEI goals?

  • Diversify Spruce’s connections with organizations, groups, networks and funders.
  • Support organizations committed to DEI.
  • Develop a volunteer base and programming that reflect the Philadelphia community.
  • Provide quarterly DEI training and educational opportunities for the board.

How are we doing?

In summer 2020, we shared a progress report on our blog alongside our commitment to being an anti-racist organization. Since then, we have continued the work to integrate DEI approaches into all aspects of our work. Some highlights of our work in recent months include:

  • Building our DEI commitment into Spruce’s mission statement.
  • Surveying board members to better understand the demographics and strengths of our current board compared to the communities and organizations Spruce funds, inform our future recruitment efforts, and demonstrate progress toward our DEI goals.
  • Researching diverse organizations throughout the greater Philadelphia area and cultivating meaningful relationships with similarly-minded nonprofits. 
  • Offering a space to engage a more diverse audience and offer more accessible virtual programming through our young philanthropist program, Spruce Council
  • Scoring DEI questions in our 2020-21 grant application. Through this recent grant cycle, we were able to gain a better understanding of the communities served by our grantees and the makeup of their board and staff. 
  • Allocating funds in our annual budget to DEI-focused board training. 
  • Recruiting one of the most diverse class of new board members for the 2020-21 board year

What are our priorities for 2021?

  • Explore further board-wide training and education opportunities.
  • Reach out to more DEI-focused organizations to establish relationships, share resources, and amplify anti-racist messages and ideas.
  • Perform an in-depth analysis of our 2020-21 board demographics and strengths to develop an action plan to continue to improve our DEI efforts
  • Conduct intentional outreach to recruit a diverse applicant pool for the 2021-22 board cycle

We are devoted to making The Spruce Foundation an actively anti-racist organization and will continue to learn, admit mistakes, and grow as we integrate diverse, equitable, and inclusive approaches to all our operations, grantmaking, partnerships, and volunteer recruitment. We recognize that the commitment to being anti-racist cannot merely be measured by a one-year plan and are committed to an ongoing focus on social justice and racial equity beyond 2021. 

Keep checking back here for more information and updates.