As a foundation dedicated to quality education for all students, The Belk Foundation is committed to ensuring our learning and actions uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion. This commitment is critical to deepening our relevance, credibility, and effectiveness, and it will strengthen our mission to improve education for present and future generations.
We seek diversity of thought, background, and experience in those we engage with, learn from, and invest in; policies and practices that provide genuine opportunities for people of all races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds to thrive; and an environment where our staff, volunteers, and partners feel valued and respected.
In Fall 2021, The Belk Foundation engaged a consultant to survey our grantee partners as well as a larger group of local education nonprofit leaders to collect feedback on the Foundation, with particular emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. We committed to sharing the results and consultant’s analysis with the public:
The Board and staff closely reviewed each rating and comment. In response to the survey and ongoing research and reflection, some of the Foundation’s key commitments include:
- Overhaul the way we identify, get to know, and invite applicants to be more accessible, transparent and proximate;
- Streamline our grant application and reporting processes to be more supportive;
- Increase the number of grants to BIPOC-led, innovative and grassroots organizations;
- Make revisions to our personnel, Board and committee practices to be more inclusive and responsive to feedback from grantees and community leaders;
- Refine our advocacy approach.
This is not short term work, and the Board and staff are committed to a culture of humble reflection and continuous improvement.