Action Steps for Racial Equity

Invest to make progress on racial equity 


Jump to: Learn | Build Consensus | Update Your IPS | Invest & Engage | Iterate & Share 



Explore key concepts

Read through a quick guide to some fundamental concepts in investing for racial equity: 


Learn from peer examples


Commit to discussing racial equity at investment committee meetings to have conversations necessary to explore how racial, gender and social equity considerations are key to meeting your fiduciary duty requirements 

  • Sign on to Confluence Philanthropy's Belonging Pledge with committing to " discussing racial equity at our next investment committee meeting. We will move our agenda forward on this. We will share our next steps and results (perhaps privately), so that we can help to identify industry-wide barriers and the technical resources required to advance the practice of investing with a racial equity lens.” 
  • Be a mindful fiduciary by understanding ways in which racial, social and gender equity considerations are central to your institutional mission. Learn more about how this meets fiduciary requirements of care and diligence. 


Build Consensus:

Investors should build consensus about which investment strategies are most aligned with their unique goals or mission

Developing consensus for investment decision-making is a collaborative process that can be challenging. As perceptions of race can inform both business and investment operations through hiring and retention, manager selection and risk assessment, investors should consider conducting bias training and diversifying the Board and the Investment Committee to bring in new insights, spur new approaches and expand networks. Consultants who are leading in this work include: 

  • Vernetta Walker & Associates Consulting -Specializes in boardroom consulting, training, and strengthening nonprofit organizations across the globe.
  • BoardSource - Specializes in nonprofit board leadership and supports, trains, and educates nonprofit leaders from across the country and throughout the world. BoardSource provides leaders with an extensive range of tools, resources, and research data to increase board effectiveness and strengthen organizational impact. 
  • Venn Diagram Partners - Specializes in the intersection between leadership development, diversity, equity &inclusion and executive coaching for leading organizations who value the power of leveraging differences. 
  • ReadySet - Consulting and strategy firm that helps companies build more human-centric, inclusive cultures, teams and products. Clients span industries from tech, to nonprofits, to social change organizations each starting at a unique point in their DEI journey.
  • Frontline Solutions - Black-owned consulting firm that serves the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, working with their clients to build tools, models, and ventures that create far-reaching impact. 

Please visit our Consensus Building page for examples of how your peers have approached this process. 


Update & Evaluate: 

Update your Investment Policy Statement to reflect your racial equity priorities

  • Draw relevant concepts and language from examples of policy statements that incorporate racial equity priorities and factors in the investment process 


Invest & Engage: 

Engage with consultants and ask your asset managers about their approach to internal diversity and inclusion and how race and social identity is factored into the investment processes and economic projections


Allocate to racially diverse consultants and asset management firms to diversify talent and deal flow and improve the investment’s risk and return profile


Allocate to funds with a racial equity investment thesis or businesses that produce products and services that address key issues for communities of color


Engage with companies as a shareholder on issues that relate directly to racial equity. If you invest in commingled funds, require transparency from your external managers as to how they engage with companies on these issues.

  • Become an active owner to engage companies you own about their strategies and directions on climate change and racial inequality 


Use investor voice in partnership with organizations focused on racial justice through investor statements, pledges and public comments to spur collective action


Offer internships in the Investment Office for underrepresented students to aid in diversifying the field, or create a student-managed fund focused on diversity of the team as well as a racial equity investment strategy


Iterate & Share

Disclose information on your strategy and progress to encourage transparency and accountability

  • Communicate progress to your stakeholders to encourage transparency in the finance industry and advance the field of racial equity investing 

Get up to date IEN News

Sign up for our Newsletters