It’s clear this initiative is taking the CSR landscape by storm.
However, employees, partners, stakeholders, customers, and the general public are demanding more than a commitment – they want transparent communication. According to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, business is now the most trusted institution above NGOs, government, and media, and a huge part of this trust comes from transparent communications in how companies are conducting business. Companies looking to achieve their DEI commitments will need to take action towards transparent grantmaking practices.
A look at the Principles for Transparency
PEAK Grantmaking has helped funders create strategies for equitable and transparent grantmaking practices for over 25 years. They have worked with advisors and grantmakers to understand what innovative practices look like in connecting the principles of DEI to grantmaking. Their guide, How to be Transparent with Your Grantees, provides three approaches for achieving transparency: Organizational, Process and Decision-making. The guide includes detailed recommendations, checklists and some examples of what fellow grantmakers have done to become more transparent and responsive.1
The grantmaking process for corporations can include multiple systems and interactions. PEAK recommends a good place to start taking the action needed to advance more equitable grantmaking practices is to break down the various parts of the process and ask:
Are we being transparent enough?2
“Process transparency describes the extent to which funders explain and share processes related to applying for, receiving, and reporting on a grant.
Funders who pay great attention to process transparency use a wide range of strategies to put this idea into practice such as hosting pre-application sessions or webinars to demystify the grantmaking process, having grant orientation sessions for new grantees, and ensuring that program officers have time to respond to grantee requests.2”
Every organization has a unique mission and goals when it comes to grantmaking that define the process, so there is no one-size fits all way to establishing transparency in grantmaking. Companies that commit to establishing transparency will see many benefits including: strengthening credibility, increasing public trust, improving grantee relationships, reducing duplication effort, facilitating greater collaboration, and building a community of shared learning.3
You can review the references from PEAK Grantmaking and Candid Learning below to learn more about transparency in decision-making, organizational transparency and how to improve transparency practices.