True Diversity: An Introduction


True Diversity puts people first. It recognizes and celebrates the fact that today’s America is a dynamic kaleidoscope of rich and important identities: racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, socioeconomic and many others—identities often so complex, nuanced and interwoven as to defy any simple classification of individuals. It also recognizes that this diversity within each of us— from place of birth and religion to viewpoints and skills—cannot be fully grasped or appreciated by the boxes we must check on forms for work, school, government programs and assistance, or yes, even philanthropic grants.

Rather than asking charitable organizations to change how or who they serve in their communities with mandates or quotas, True Diversity empowers organizations with the freedom and flexibility to make decisions about their unique organizational needs and those who rely upon them. It offers a powerful way for charitable organizations to honor the things that make us all human and harness their power to develop individualized pathways to opportunity that serve the whole person. Taking a more holistic approach will help organizations pursue the most effective ideas and strategies, hire the best talent, empower those on the ground and achieve better outcomes. In short, it’s the best way to both advance the most effective solutions and fully achieve the benefits of diversity in a complex world.

That is why Philanthropy Roundtable is offering a new approach that recenters on the core American idea that every individual matters and that no one should be left behind simply because of how they look, who they love or the circumstances of their birth. True Diversity seeks to return love, compassion and empathy to the diversity conversation by providing a unifying vision rather than divisive and harmful mandates or quotas.

To learn more about Philanthropy Roundtable’s True Diversity Initiative, please visit

True Diversity: An Introduction

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