At The California Endowment, our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness is strong. It is driven by a fundamental belief that we cannot achieve our mission of improved health for Californians unless every segment of our community participates in advancing solutions.


Diversity matters. It is for this very reason that we report and post key metrics that define this commitment. This special report is divided into three components:

  • The publishing of data that reflects our grant making to minority-led organizations, defined either as having a person of color as the executive director, or a board of directors that consists of more than 50 percent persons of color. We are able to report on these findings because of changes we have recently made to the collection of racial and ethnic data in our grant application process. In sum, more than half of our grants being made are supporting minority-led organizations.
  • Once again we will post the findings of our 2013 Diversity Audit, where we commissioned a review by an independent firm who examined diversity measures of our board, management, staff, and contractors. In this memo TCE’s CEO and Chief Learning Officer comment on the effort and what we’re learning.  In sum, we have maintained excellent progress with board, management, staff, and grant-making diversity, but we have work to do to increase response rates to our diversity survey among applicants and contractors and considerations to make to extend diversity training across all staff. 
  • Finally, we report on our commitment to the work of a coalition of California foundations, who in 2008 pledged to collectively provide up to $30 million in grant dollars towards organizational capacity-building efforts in grassroots-level, minority-led nonprofits. This commitment has been filled and our future work on this front is incorporated into our foundation's current 10-year, $1 billion Building Healthy Communities plan. In other words, supporting ethnic minority-led organizations is not a "special project" for us. It represents the core of our strategy to help transform unhealthy communities into healthy places for young people.

    The funding of ethnic and minority-led nonprofit organizations by institutional philanthropy or, some would say, the lack thereof continues to be a source of controversy in certain states and even nationally. Again, our position on this is clear. The Board of Directors of The California Endowment is committed to matters of diversity and inclusiveness because it strengthens our ability to achieve our mission, and deliver a more lasting sustainable impact. It is not about funding via quotas, population formulas, "fair share" funding approaches, or out of sympathy for low-income communities. It is our strongly held view that our investments are smarter and more effective when community leaders and organizations who directly confront the challenges of poor health are supported and involved in crafting solutions.

    It is for this reason we believe that voluntary leadership by the philanthropic sector constitutes the best way to strengthen the funding of minority-led organizations in California, and across our nation. For information about such an effort, please learn more about the D5 Initiative, a national voluntary philanthropic partnership to promote diversity and inclusiveness in our field. For more information:

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Our Commitment to Diversity and Community
The California Endowment recognizes that race/racism and social determinants adversely affect the health and well being of historically underserved communities in California—race and place matter. To improve health where we live, we need to focus on the structural elements that perpetuate inequity and engage in systems change. Our Equity Agenda is outlined below:

  • Boys and Men of Color
    Boys and men of color are disproportionately impacted by historic and structural racism that have shaped polices and practices leading to higher incarceration, school drop out, and mortality rates. We have been leading a statewide effort to focus on creating opportunities for this population by partnering with organizations and community leaders. Under the leadership of Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, an Assembly Select Committee was established to gather public testimony on the status of boys and men of color throughout California. To date, we have engaged over 700 youth and community stakeholders in our regional briefings. We have committed $6 million for FY 2012-13 toward this effort. For more information:
  • Diversity in Philanthropy Project/D-5
    D-5 is a five-year effort to engage philanthropy's anchor institutions to coordinate efforts and resources that will increase representation of diverse communities at the trustee and staff level and increase funds to diverse communities. We have committed $5 million over five years in partnership with other foundations toward this initiative. For more information:
  • Evaluation of the Capacity Building of Minority-Led Organizations Project
    In partnership with population-focused funds (Brotherhood Crusade, California Women's Foundation, Seventh Generation Fund, Bay Area Black United Fund, Sierra Health Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, Akonadi and the CA Fund for Youth Organizing), The Endowment has supported the distribution of $1.7 million to grassroots minority-led organizations throughout California to strengthen their capacity and leadership. 
  • Healthy Immigrant Integration: California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII)
    The Endowment is currently working with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) to increase pathways to citizenship, Affordable Care Act enrollment, and benefits for immigrant residents. The Endowment has committed close to $1 million to this effort. For more information:
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