Our focus on equity

Lauren O’Shaughnessy, Global Director of Impact, Macquarie Group Foundation, talks about the positive changes the Foundation is making to become a more equitable grantmaker.

Year in review

Inherent to the Foundation’s work is a focus on equity, ensuring people who face systemic barriers are supported to overcome these challenges and thrive. The Foundation acknowledges current and historic inequities in the philanthropic and community sector, and during FY2023 has taken steps to strengthen the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of its grantmaking processes and practices globally. 

  • We’re prioritising funding to organisations that are reflective of the identities and lived experience of the people whom we hope to serve through our grantmaking. A recent grant to Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants demonstrates this approach, with funding supporting a grassroots community movement of migrant domestic women, supporting them to advance their rights, promote their collective wellbeing, and bring them together for mutual support and learning. 
  • We have reaffirmed our approach of making multi-year funding commitments to community organisations and have a preference to support an organisation and its overall mission, rather than specific projects where appropriate.
  • We have streamlined our grantmaking forms so that applicants can spend less time writing and more time focussing on mission driven activities. We now write the first draft of the grant application and work in partnership with the grant seeker to finalise the application.
  • In addition to the Racial Equity Fund in the Americas, the Foundation is increasing funding to community organisations around the world that are promoting a more equitable and just society for all. We’re supporting Baobab to create a grantmaking organisation in the UK that is led ‘by and for’ Black people, ethnic minority communities and those affected by racism. In Australia, we’re funding the Centre for Social Impact to document the current state of cultural diversity representation in the Australian philanthropic sector and provide actionable recommendations on how funders can improve their practices.

Racial Equity Fund

Launched in July 2020, the Racial Equity Fund (REF) is focused on advancing solutions that promote a more equitable and just society for all people in the Americas. It has doubled our grantmaking and associated staff engagement activity in the region, including the recurring annual People’s Choice Awards.

Macquarie hosted 22 Texas Southern University students in our Houston office with Racial Equity fund partner the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice.

The REF is committed to supporting direct relief programs, research and policy, education and economic equity initiatives that promote racial equity through our people and grantmaking. To date, 13 grants have been awarded to non-profits advancing racial equity at the national and local level, with four of these grants funding multi-year programs​.

Our colleagues are also empowered to be catalysts for change with the REF through our People’s Choice Award, a participatory grants campaign. Employees nominate and vote for additional non-profit organisations to receive one year of unrestricted grants for their racial justice programs. The Racial Equity Fund is driven by Macquarie in the Americas, in partnership with the Foundation and a cross-Group employee-led committee.

Our multi-year grant partners: