Non-profits are increasingly gathering equity data on the communities they serve – but what about their own staff?

Data can be invaluable to understand staff experiences within non-profit workplaces and to build anti-racist and decolonial cultures, says the Vancouver Foundation team.

Why It Matters

Internal data collection is one way for social purpose organizations to become more inclusive and accommodating — something that can improve their overall impact in the communities they serve. But the process isn’t without pitfalls. Responsible data collection requires careful planning and a trauma-informed approach.

Ramona Leitao’s fellowship is funded by the World Education Services (WES) Mariam Assefa Fund. Sharlene Gandhi’s fellowship is funded by Mastercard Changeworks™. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

TORONTO / TREATY 13 – It was the spring of 2020, the murder of George Floyd had ignited an international racial justice movement, and like many social purpose organizations, the Vancouver Foundation was re-evaluating who it granted money to with an eye towards equity and inclusion. 

Vincent Tom, the foundation’s manager of community learning and engagement, says the organization’s initial inclination was to ask potential grantees and stakeholders about their demographics and examine the make-up of the commu

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