Philanthropy Roundtable Launches Expanded True Diversity Initiative

As part of its expanded True Diversity initiative, Philanthropy Roundtable, along with more than two dozen charitable organizations and community leaders, released a statement of principles today that serves as a unifying vision to return love, compassion and empathy to the diversity conversation. The Roundtable’s initiative seeks to address the concerns of charitable organizations that policies emphasizing box-checking and quotas are hindering their ability to best serve those in need. 

True Diversity is an equality-based approach to embracing diversity that values each individual and allows charitable organizations the freedom and flexibility they need to pursue the most effective ideas and strategies available in order to help those in need.    

As the statement of principles explains, “There is a yearning in the charitable community for a new paradigm with a more inclusive outlook—an approach that expands diversity beyond physical and biological characteristics alone to fully embrace the multifaceted characteristics that make each individual special and unique.”

True Diversity’s holistic and truly inclusive framework focuses on the core American idea that every individual is valued and no one should be left behind simply because of how they look, who they love or the circumstances of their birth. This approach instead encourages charitable organizations to harness the power of all the things that make each of us human—the diverse backgrounds, talents, perspectives and experiences they need to advance their core missions.

True Diversity is defined by five key principles:

  1. Value each individual. Each person is a unique individual worthy of dignity and respect. It is only by taking the time to know and understand them, their challenges and their circumstances, rather than simply making assumptions based on how they look, that we can best support them. 
  2. Advance the mission. Excellent results are best achieved by bringing together people with diverse skill sets, backgrounds and perspectives to further a common mission. Each organization is in the best position to know what types of diversity in leadership and staffing will best support its mission—and thus strengthen the communities it serves. 
  3. Seek diverse perspectives. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and there are many ways to address social challenges. Bringing together people with diverse views is the key to encouraging a robust competition of ideas, experimentation with different approaches and ultimately better answers and outcomes.  
  4. Embrace conversation. Discussion and debate open the door to progress. Direct, honest and respectful conversation may take courage, but it is the antidote to division, resentment and stagnation.  
  5. Cultivate empowerment. The best way to uplift individuals and strengthen communities is to foster the sense of agency that only comes when everyone is empowered to reach their full potential.  

Philanthropy Roundtable’s True Diversity initiative will offer additional research and resources for charitable organizations that will be released in the coming weeks. For more information, visit


Philanthropy Roundtable is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant American philanthropic movement that strengthens our free society. To achieve this vision, the Roundtable pursues a mission to foster excellence in philanthropy, protect philanthropic freedom and help donors advance liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility.

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