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Incorporating Racial Equity Into Investment Practices

Learn how CCA assisted The Pittsburgh Foundation in developing a roadmap for incorporating racial equity into its investment practices, resulting in greater manager diversity across TPF’s investment portfolios.

The client

Established in 1945, The Pittsburgh Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest community foundations and is the 14th largest of more than 750 similar foundations across the United States. It set a new record for grantmaking, $67 million, in 2020. As a community foundation, its resources comprise endowment funds established by individuals, businesses and organizations with a passion for charitable giving and fulfilling the Foundation’s mission of improving quality of life for all in the region.

The Foundation currently manages about 2,500 individual donor funds and, together with its supporting organizations and its affiliate, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, has assets of $1.46 billion. Grantmaking benefits a broad spectrum of basic needs and development opportunities within Pittsburgh and beyond.

"Not only did The Pittsburgh Foundation lend name recognition and legitimacy to our cause, it was an easy vehicle for accessing the guidance and expertise we were looking for." ~Joe Senita, whose daughter Claire Senita established a fund


Investment Purpose and approach

Our collaboration came from the belief that this was both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. The work was important from the lenses of fiduciary duty, performance, alignment, and transformative change.

The objectives:

  • Assess team competencies essential to advance racial equity

  • Assess investment policies, practices, consultant relationship

  • Define diverse manager ownership criteria

  • Recommend actions for long-term success

The assessment began with establishing a level setting framework that defined key terms such as racial equity vs racial justice.

Our tiered activity approach included Investment Team Readiness Assessment, Document Assessment, and Pavilion Relationship Assessment.

Using a list of indicators to assess where the investment policies, practices and culture are along the scale of Equity Assessment Framework, we collected key findings lead to interventions at the staff, committee, consultant and foundation levels.

With a variety of recommendations, TPF had a clear and concise implementation roadmap that led them to significant steps toward an equity-focused processes and reshaping their narrative and communications.


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