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.
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.
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.
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.