Updates from members
PC – noted that the Smallwood Trust had appointed an EDI consultant to support them on taking forward an EDI action plan, starting with work on anti-racism. One staff-only session had been held to date, which had raised a number of challenges. PC accepted that cultural change is a gradual process, requiring patience on all sides. The group discussed how long that period might be and how people can be supported to learn themselves.
SG – mentioned that WNST had appointed two new trustees, both from a minority ethnic background, one with international sporting experience and the other a highly-qualified lawyer. He was now pleased with the balance of the board across a range of EDI indicators.
JH – Buttle Trust had also appointed two young trustees, both people of colour and was interested in engaging with the 2027 trustee coaching process, as a means of supporting their induction process as board members.
Updates on outreach to intermediary bodies
JF had contacted the Grant Givers Movement and was awaiting a response.
MN had been in touch with Ubele, the Baobab Foundation and Charity So White. Ubele were establishing a network of intermediaries and MN would contact them again after their next meeting to consider how we might work together.
PC has spoken to the ACO, who were conducting a survey of members’ support needs. PC and JH are due to meet the ACO CEO to discuss how the JFI might support and EDI activities.
JH noted that 360 Giving now had some EDI data on their website
JF noted that the ACF strategic review was open for contributions for member trusts, which provided JFI members with an opportunity to try to influence the wider foundations sector.
JFI Action Plan
JH agreed to tidy up the Action Plan, incorporating recent comments and get the document ready for publication. It was noted that going public with the plan opened the group up to greater scrutiny. There was also a discussion about who the group is accountable to and how we might respond to challenge.
Individual Action Plans
NC and SB had drafted their individual action plans, for comment by then group. NC noted that it was easier to identify immediate “to do” actions rather than to plot a longer-term course of action. SB set her own plan within the wider agenda for the development of her Trust and the environment within which it worked. She did though see this as a mechanism to set some clear and stretching targets for herself over an extended period.
JF noted the difference in approach of these two plans, which was both refreshing and interesting. SG highlighted the challenge of separating theoretical ambitions from practical action.
The meeting then broke into small groups to discuss reactions to the draft plans.
Any other business
For the next meeting JH, PC and JF would produce first drafts of action plans, with the remainder to be considered at the following meeting.
JF raised the conversation he had with the Chief Executive of another foundation about her work on the anti-racist agenda. Her potential membership of this group would be considered off-line, so as to include those not present today.
Date to be agreed by Doodle poll. (Now agreed for Friday 20th May at 1pm).
SB to chair, PC to take notes.