Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Commitment Statement

1.0 Background
The trustees of the Community Foundation have made a commitment to embed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles into all aspects of our work. Cumbria Community Foundation has been supporting underserved people for almost 25 years and we believe by adopting this approach it will strengthen our grant making and enable us to better fulfil our purpose.

Like many organisations, we are on a journey to becoming more inclusive and to improving how we better reflect and serve our communities. A DEI Working Group has been formed which is overseeing the creation and implementation of a DEI Action Plan. This statement sets out the key components of the Action Plan.

“Our 5-year strategy articulates our desire to make a difference to Cumbria. By harnessing our expertise to tackle inequalities we can and do drive change and shape a better future for humanity.” Glenys Marriott, Vice Chair, Cumbria Community Foundation Grants Committee and Chair of the Foundation’s DEI Working Group.

2.0 Our People
We openly recruit new staff, trustees, and volunteers. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and want to remove barriers to involvement. We support the costs of people volunteering with us and will actively promote engagement by people from underserved groups. We undertake skills and experience audits of our trustees and use this information to inform gaps in knowledge and experience. We will be reviewing all recruitment and selection processes to ensure we adopt best practice and avoid inadvertent bias.

3.0 Grant Making
Our grant making priorities target those in greatest need in our communities. We analyse the geographical distribution of our grant awards and the characteristics of the people we support.

We will review our grant making strategy ahead of the financial year 24/25. We will be considering how we can better reach and support underserved people and address issues of intersectionality. This will include involving underserved people in the design and development of our grant making funds, projects, and programmes. We work hard to ensure our grant making systems and processes are as accessible and as easy to apply to as possible. We are proud of the support our team provides applicants. We will keep our practices under review and welcome suggestions for improvement. Opportunities exist for us to promote a greater understanding of DEI through provision of training and encouraging introduction of DEI policies and approaches within funded organisations.

4.0 Finance
How we invest our endowed funds is important to us and provides us with an ability to invest in ways that promote social and environmental good. Our invested funds are subject to an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance ) policy, and our Investment Committee monitors this in conjunction with our investment managers. For a copy of our ESG policy, please contact helen@cumbriafoundation.org The cost of being a trustee or volunteer with the Foundation should not be a barrier to participation. We make financial provision for volunteer participation and engagement and make this clear in all volunteer and trustee recruitment promotion.

5.0 Training and Learning
Our staff, trustees and volunteers will all have opportunities to develop their understanding of what it means to adopt a DEI approach. This will be through the provision of direct training opportunities, support to attend training events and through occasional briefings and induction of new trustees, volunteers and staff.

6.0 Benchmarking, Monitoring and Review
We have undertaken a survey of the characteristics of our staff, trustees, and volunteers. We will be agreeing and publishing benchmarking information so that stakeholders can monitor our progress. We will also regularly publish information about the distribution of our grant awards.

7.0 Visibility and Communications
We will adopt guidelines for the accessibility of communication materials produced (web content, newsletters etc.) and make them available in alternative formats. We will create guidelines for the use of language and in particular keep informed of the preferred descriptors for people with protected characteristics. We will ensure grants promotion and publicity reaches as far as possible. We will be more diverse as an organisation and present that outwardly to our stakeholders.

8.0 Accountability & Listening
If you have any questions about the Community Foundation’s approach to DEI and would like to make suggestions for how we can improve our practice please contact Andy Beeforth via andy@cumbriafoundation.org The trustees and staff currently in membership of our DEI Working Group are: Glenys Marriott (chair), David Beeby, Marcia Reid Fotheringham, Kevin Walsh, Suzanne Wilson, Jenny Benson and Andy Beeforth.