The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation launches a new Rising Leaders for Equity initiative


The new initiative represents a commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility as a transformative framework for the foundation and the philanthropic sector

Posted: October 27, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. MDT|Update: 41 minutes ago

BOSTON, October 27, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Ask any philanthropic leader in United States whether the sector would benefit from including more diverse perspectives in decision-making. Without exception, you will hear a call to foster more inclusive, equitable and diverse cultures.

(PRNewsfoto / Patrick J. McGovern Foundation)

And yet, the industry has moved slowly to bring about change. Systemic barriers and complex power dynamics are still common in philanthropy, including the industry’s reliance on existing, self-sustaining hiring networks and pipelines, and negative perceptions about who is in philanthropy. .

The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, as a young and growing philanthropic organization, set out to create a new approach to recruiting and developing talent with the launch of its new Rising Leaders for Equity initiative, a full-time salaried position of two years. for early-career professionals who bring a diversity of identities, perspectives and perspectives to philanthropy. The initiative aims to demonstrate how the field can break down historic barriers to hiring and recruit talented individuals whose contributions are critical to changing the industry’s approach to philanthropic work, while providing a holistic work experience focused on mutual learning, growth and innovation.

The philanthropic workforce in

Black / African American – 13.5%

LatinX – 8.7%

Asian – 9.6%

Aboriginal – .8%

Middle East – .5%

More than once race or ethnicity – 12.2%

White – 52.3%

Born outside the United States – 12.3%

People with disabilities – 12.6%

Heterosexual – 77%

Bisexual 4.6%

Lesbian or Gay – 8.8%

Transgender – 1.5%

Cisgender – 95%

Source: 2020 Diversity among philanthropists
Professionals report
by CHANGE Philanthropy

The vision, according to President Vilas Dhar, who began to develop the initiative soon after his appointment in 2020, is a philanthropic sector that reflects a diversity of identities, experiences and perspectives in its staff and leadership, its decision-making and community involvement. Going forward, the Foundation will launch a series of activities designed to share learnings from the initiative and foster dialogue with others interested in advancing inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility ( IDEA) in philanthropy.

“As a flagship initiative of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Rising Leaders for Equity is focused on trust and transformation,” said Dhar. “To build public confidence in philanthropy, we need to fully align our values ​​and actions, and that starts internally. As we take this important step forward, we would love to join together with other philanthropists for authentic conversations, self-reflection and learning new ways of working. Together, we can be agents of transformation at all levels – individual, organization, community and society – to build a more equitable and inclusive future for all.

The initiative will be led by the newly appointed director Lea C. Taylor, who brings extensive experience in the design, management and execution of strategic programs for mission-driven organizations, with an emphasis on equity as a practice and as an outcome.

“The launch of this initiative is a step forward in how the Foundation lives our values ​​and walks the path when it comes to IDEA and the pursuit of justice,” said Mike Kohn, director of human resources and talents of the foundation. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to do something impactful with our new leadership, our entire Foundation, as well as the field of philanthropy. I look forward to working closely with Leah and the whole team to develop and further develop our initiative. . “

The initiative provides an opportunity for talented, ambitious and socially conscious early career professionals to learn all aspects of working in a philanthropic setting. They will be included at all levels of engagement within the organization, including relationship building, grantmaking, communications and operations. Rising Leaders for Equity was designed to provide associates with a variety of learning and skills development opportunities through a rotation model, similar to how early-career physicians and lawyers are trained, so that ” they are exposed to all aspects of the non-profit and philanthropic fields. They will be encouraged to pursue their curiosity and professional interests through access to others in the field, peer learning, mentoring and technical assistance. Their learning will be grounded in the ethics of technology, one of the Foundation’s main advocacy areas, so that they can advance ethical considerations in their future career areas.

Claudia Juech, the Foundation’s vice president of data and society, called the initiative a significant milestone for the Foundation as it advocates for more inclusive and ethical approaches to developing data and AI for the good of the society. “The successful use of data and AI for social impact depends on the representativeness of all segments of society in terms of the people involved in the design, implementation and use of these tools. We must also do the same in our own culture. I am delighted to be working with the new team to support them in their philanthropic careers and to make a significant change in philanthropy. “

Media contact:
Deborah O’Neil
[email protected]

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SOURCE Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

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