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Candid’s DEI commitment, today, and for the future 

Group photo of staff at Candid Convene 2023.

Candid’s DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) commitment statement provides general guidelines and insights as to how the organization supports, prioritizes, and maintains an inclusive work environment that fosters a sense of belonging and trust. The full statement is as follows: 

Candid is committed to creating an environment where our employees and stakeholders feel safe and supported showing up as their whole selves. We incorporate equity, inclusion, and respect for diverse perspectives in all our work. We value and celebrate the diversity of our ideas, backgrounds, and experiences as they help us better understand one another and better serve our communities and constituents.  

While we are steadfast in our commitment, we acknowledge that we may make mistakes. We recognize that race, equity, access, diversity, and inclusion efforts are emergent and evolving. They require us to learn, adapt, and iterate. We encourage and invite feedback from our staff and stakeholders so that we can be responsive to their needs. And we look to engage with and seek guidance from experts in the field to continue learning and improving. Together, we strive to deepen our understanding, strengthen our commitment, and align our policies, procedures, practices, programs, products, and services to ensure our employees and stakeholders thrive.   

When did Candid’s DEI journey begin?

Candid was formed in February 2019 with the merger of GuideStar and Foundation Center. In order to facilitate the integration, we formed employee-led workstream groups, one of which, the Change Management and Culture (CMC) group, was initially tasked with formulating Candid’s values: we’re driven, direct, accessible, curious, and inclusive. Later on, a subset of the group worked exclusively on DEI-focused recommendations and collectively decided to develop a DEI statement for Candid. We accomplished this by reviewing current DEI-related efforts and examining statements from other organizations. Candid’s current DEI commitment statement was ultimately finalized in September 2020. 

Why is Candid’s DEI commitment statement important?  

A diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment fosters a sense of belonging, psychological safety, and a culture of trust, which together helps employees to feel valued and more likely to perform and contribute at a higher level. Organizations committed to DEI also tend to attract high-caliber talent and maintain good employee retention rates. Candid’s aspiration has always been to be an employer of choice—an organization where candidates elect to work when presented with other employment options. This is another reason why it’s important for Candid to publicly declare its commitment to DEI and strive to create an inclusive work culture where all employees can thrive, resulting in a stronger organization overall.  

We also need to take into consideration how diversity, equity, and inclusion are equally significant and distinctly unique yet interrelated—and must harmoniously coexist to realize long-term benefits.  

How has Candid shown its commitment to DEI? 

We’ve implemented numerous DEI initiatives, including programs to support families, such as enhanced family leave benefits. We also appreciate that there are many ways to work productively, so we continue to offer flexible and remote work arrangements while coordinating monthly opportunities for in-person engagement by choice. We’ve introduced a full spectrum of educational trainings, guest speakers, and learning opportunities on topics such as implicit bias and the use of pronouns. In our NYC office, we offer a gender-neutral bathroom. And across the organization, we recognize numerous heritage month celebrations throughout the year.  

In addition, we’ve worked to foster a culture that provides space for employees to share common interests and experiences by introducing diversity resource groups—BIPOC, Women, and Queer Collective—as well as Slack channels for equity talk, community care, and accessibility.    

What’s next in Candid’s DEI journey? 

In 2024 the HR team is tasked with designing a DEI plan that brings together, in a more intentional way, the three distinct yet interrelated components. To date, our DEI-related activities and initiatives, while notable and very much appreciated, have been somewhat fragmented and lacking interconnectedness. Our goal this year is to craft a more meaningful, cohesive plan to better demonstrate Candid’s commitment to DEI.  

Once the plan is completed, it doesn’t mean Candid’s DEI work and obligations are finished. I liken Candid’s commitment to DEI as being reminiscent of an old French description for journée, meaning a ‘day’s work or travel,’ journey doubles as both noun and verb. The noun simply refers to a voyage; the verb is the act of taking that voyage.” DEI is more than an ideology—it requires thoughtful reflection, along with a plan for active involvement. Like most journeys, it involves continuous evolution and ongoing adjustments, with no definitive endpoint. A DEI journey can be an unpredictable venture requiring all of us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable while committing to meaningful participation. It requires us to be willing to learn with an open mind and a receptive heart. This level of commitment will ideally allow us to emerge more united, or at the very least, inspire greater respect for our differences and a deeper appreciation of our similarities.   


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