Philanthropy is an act of caring.

Philanthropy makes our society a better place so that everyone can contribute and thrive. The people that take on this act of caring come from all walks of life, cultures and characteristics. They are philanthropists; citizens who want to make their resources count by supporting civil society and tackling a vast array of social and environmental challenges. 

It is central to our mission that philanthropy welcomes everyone and that everyone can benefit from its effect.

We hold equality, diversity and inclusion at our core and work to ensure that the principles of respect, honesty, collectivity and openness run through all our activities to encourage more and better giving.

We know that there is always more that can be done to ensure that everyone is able to make a full contribution to society in their own unique way and to live without fear or prejudice regardless of race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, social class, religion and belief.

Our vision is to have a positive and inclusive impact on philanthropy in all its forms and on each and every one of its contributors. 

We ask our employees to be role models and champions of social equity.

We value our differences and recognise that diversity of thought, background, characteristics and experience makes us stronger.

We will challenge ourselves and others to listen, learn and adapt to all information and experiences that can help us build a more inclusive world.

Recognising that society’s expectations and individuals’ real world experiences of equality, diversity and inclusion are constantly evolving, we commit to regularly reflecting on our policies and procedures with our employees, Executive and our Board to ensure they show the standards of care and empathy we expect from ourselves. 

Matthew Bowcock
Matthew Bowcock
Founder, Beacon Collaborative

Beacon’s EDI Statement

The Beacon Collaborative (“Beacon Fellowship Charitable Trust”) complies with the Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) and understands our duties under it. As an organisation we will treat any reports of discrimination seriously and our Executive and Trustees commit to thoroughly investigating and taking appropriate action in any instance where it is believed we have fallen short, whether within our workplace, in our external work, via our partners or suppliers, or in our communities, in order to stop discrimination at its core.

Creating an inclusive organisation is long term and ongoing work. We are dedicated to learning and evolving our approach to stopping discrimination.

In this document, we have outlined our goals and our timeline. We have also considered how we will hold ourselves accountable for making progress.

Our long term vision for Beacon is:

  • We are able to take an active role in ensuring philanthropy is welcoming to all, leading by example as an organisation that is inclusive, equal and diverse in principle as well as in practice.
  • We are able to reach under-represented groups and share their viewpoints, experiences and visions with others so that the seeds of our collective humanity grow.
  • We are able to improve the direct connections between diverse philanthropists to enrich their individual and aggregated learning, in turn enabling philanthropy to become more innovative, progressive and impactful.

Our current commitments and actions (FY 2022-23)

We commit to including equality, diversity and inclusion in all of our decision-making and to building it into our practices and processes so that we can begin to benchmark and monitor our activity and our success.

Our priorities are:

  1. Ensure our current Board vacancies are filled following EDI best practice.
  2. Ensure any new communications, content and events activity meets good standards of EDI.
  3. Begin monitoring the diversity of our audiences to allow us to create benchmarks for improvement.

In addition, we are working to ensure that each of our current activities reflects our commitment to equality, equity and inclusion. Here are some of the principal steps we are taking to achieve this.

Our research

Beacon is proud of its history of identifying gaps in the UK’s understanding of how and where philanthropy happens, conducting research to develop and share insights that can inform the sector, suppliers, communities and more. A great deal of our research looks to uncover barriers to giving and social investment by identifying and interviewing under-represented groups.

We are delighted that this year we will be conducting completely new research into diversity in philanthropy in order to explicitly consider how the intersection of different characteristics influences how people give.

This will add more insight to our strategy on the multiple dimensions of diversity and enable us to provide actionable recommendations for the sector and for ourselves on how to support donors from many different traditions and cultures of giving.

Our events

While we take great care to foster diverse and inclusive involvement and representation among our speakers, facilitators and delegates to our events, like other organisations we have often found it difficult to achieve the representation we would like. This is something we are committed to improving each time we convene philanthropists, social investors and other stakeholders.

We aim to ensure:

  • Our events are hybrid with sub-titled audio-visual content recorded wherever possible [at times this may need to be on request or by demand depending on suppliers and partners]
  • Our panels are not  all-white and all-male and we take positive steps to strive for wider representation and diversity 
  • Our flagship Forum is free to attend thanks to the support of our sponsors. This means we can convene the right people regardless of the cost of running the event and our aim is always to invite as much cognitive and individual diversity as possible
  • We will aim to use fully accessible venues with step-free access and accessible toilets throughout.
  • We will aim to make sure that lighting is suitable for lip reading

Our voice of philanthropists

We are proud to be trusted by philanthropists to tell their stories of giving and social investment. We take care to ask individuals from all cultural, religious, ethnic, social and cognitively diverse backgrounds to share their personal accounts and while we are not where we want to be with the diversity of our Voices, we will continue to ask as broad a range of individuals as we can to share their experiences with us and with our audiences.

Our website and communications

We aim to make all our online content accessible. We are aware that not all of our website content currently meets good practice and we are taking steps to rectify this, starting with our most visited pages. Some of our other content may need to be adjusted on request, including historic content which may not meet newer standards or guidelines. We take care to use language that does not marginalise or silo topics around diversity, equality and inclusion.

Our recruitment and employment

We have already set out that diversification of our Board is a priority this year. If our leadership is diverse it will benefit not only our whole organisation but all of our stakeholders as well.

When advertising for Trustee roles, we emphasise that previous experience is not required and we are happy to mentor new trustees. We have a highly experienced Board that can offer a welcoming and enabling environment to newcomers.

We always show the salary and don’t expect academic or professional qualifications when advertising roles. The language used in our job advertisements will encourage applications from those with appropriate skills regardless of their academic or professional backgrounds.

We place our role advertisements with job opportunity platforms that ensure we can reach diverse audiences.

Our workplace is accessible with step-free access and assisted toilets.

Our working hours can be flexed to suit individual needs.

Future improvements (FY 2023-24 and beyond)

Our future priorities will focus on:

  1. Developing benchmarks for enhancing our diversity that consider all protected characteristics based on monitoring and considering sector best practices
  2. Improving our regional representation / becoming less metropolitan
  3. Improving intersectionality in our activities, networks and events
  4. Supporting and encouraging our sector partners to improve

In addition, we have a number of aims.

When recruiting we will acknowledge that relevant experience, qualifications or suitability criteria can be gained in many ways and that talent, aptitude and soft skills are equally as important and relevant. 

We will aim for a 4-day week for all interested candidates.

We will aim for fair representation among speakers at our events across all protected characteristics and representing those who are served by philanthropy.

We will introduce an annual feedback survey that includes appropriately-worded questions around our equity, diversity and inclusion practices.

We will use evaluation and/or survey methods to contact our subscribers and audiences to better understand who we are reaching and who we are not, and use the results to inform our planning and our outreach.

We will conduct a review of our language to ensure it is fully inclusive and in plain-English. 

We will work with external experts to ensure our visual and audio accessibility for events is as effective as it can be.

We will aim to ensure that the technology we use is accessible and assistive to the best of our ability.