The Flinn Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. We believe this expansive purpose encompasses all of Arizona, and all Arizonans. We also believe that our success requires a vigorous commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), operationally and in our current philanthropic activities.
Indeed, we believe that a commitment to DEI and the underlying principle that every person has value and potential is critically important to our organization’s mission, internal and philanthropic practices, and interactions with the community.
The Flinn Foundation uses definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion drawn in part from Independent Sector and Equity in the Center:
Diversity encompasses characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we understand it more broadly. For example, our definition also includes diversity in one’s background, life experiences, skill set, and self-identification.
Equity is the commitment to fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement, while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
Inclusion is the act of creating environments where individuals are welcomed, respected, and valued, regardless of their differences and in ways that overcome unconscious or implicit bias.
DEI at the Flinn Foundation
At the Flinn Foundation, we are working to strengthen our commitment to DEI across our internal practices, engagement with the community, and philanthropic activities. We recognize that this journey will require devotion of time, creativity, and effort to represent and value the diversity of Arizona’s population across our work.
Our efforts currently focus on:
- Internal processes, including those for program recruitment and selection, and for grant-application design;
- Support of grantees in our program areas, including technical assistance to strengthen organizations’ DEI practices, and grant support for their DEI priorities;
- Objective progress monitoring, including the development of clear goals and metrics and improvements in how we collect and assess demographic data from program applicants and participants;
- Staff, board-member, and program-participant diversity;
- Professional development, including ongoing DEI training and dialogue.
We are also applying an equity lens to decisions we face in our internal operations, program design, and grantmaking,
Information we share in this statement will evolve. We are on an iterative DEI journey that will require learning and growth over time, with self-assessment and recalibration, and without a pre-determined endpoint. We will embrace DEI-related principles and practices in ways that optimize our programs, enhance our impact, and improve the quality of life for current and future generations in our state.