Alliance Publishing Trust
Issues of racial and gender injustice have, in recent years, risen in prominence across global philanthropy in both the US and UK and around the world. As a publication committed to fostering progressive, effective philanthropy, Alliance magazine has rightly challenged the weaknesses and shortcomings of our field by highlighting lack of diversity, equity, and representation in foundation leaderships, going so far in a September 2022 in-depth feature to call for the decolonization of philanthropy.
Following conversations with peers at the Chronicle of Philanthropy, who received substantial funds from the Hewlett Foundation to conduct several DEI audits, Alliance committed to embarking on a similar process. Reviewing several proposals, the team decided to conduct its audit with Impact Culture, a UK-based team of consultants committed to equity and organizational change.
The overall goal is to examine the magazine’s standards and approach in the area of EDI. As a white-led and UK-based publication, albeit one with a global remit, the team is conscious of the need to analyze our contributors to ensure gender, racial, and geographic balance both across the magazine’s coverage but also within it. For example, who gets the prominent slots in the magazine’s coverage? Impact Culture’s phased workplan forms the basis of Alliance’s EDI work in 2023.
Specifically, the audit aims to answer:
- Who specifically are Alliance magazine’s authors? For example, how often does a US/European transplant provide content that would be classified as representing Asia? Are all our authors above a certain age? Is gender balance achieved? Does the ethnicity of authors reflect the regions for which they are speaking?
- Who gets what space? Even if the author data are broadly positive, who gets assigned which platform? A short article online isn’t the same in prominence as a feature story in the magazine or a speaker’s role at a webinar.
- Is the model itself flawed? Practitioners contribute content for free. Having the professional time and space to write and review content, however, is a privilege not shared by everyone. Who is being left out by this? Could resources be allocated to compensate some people to promote inclusivity?
Outputs and Outcomes:
- Surveys, focus groups, and interviews covering all stakeholder groups, with an emphasis on stakeholders from underrepresented groups
- Comprehensive analysis of all primary research based on the agreed framework triangulated with findings from the document review and secondary research
- EDI audit report with clear sets of recommendations, detailed analysis, and insights
- Theory of change fleshed out and parameters of EDI action plan mapped out collaboratively
- EDI priorities cascaded throughout Alliance magazine, with everybody feeling equipped to implement them in their respective capacities
- Theory of change used to evaluate priorities and proposed actions that Alliance magazine seeks to progress
- Theory of changed employed to help navigate underlying assumptions and facilitate conversations around EDI audit findings