I’m Dr Emma Horrigan and I’m the data analyst at City Bridge Trust. I’ve now been in this role for 9 months and I have to say starting a new role in lockdown has been challenging!
I am responsible for all data analysis at City Bridge Trust and so I will be helping the Trust understand how we allocate our money, and scrutinising whether we are doing this in the most equitable way possible.
As a funder working London-wide there are a lot of competing priorities. Covid-19 hit hardest on those already affected by inequalities, systemic disadvantages and deprivation – and over the coming years of recovery it will be critical to use our money wisely to actively reduce inequalities and grow stronger communities.
Therefore, one of my first major pieces of work at City Bridge Trust is to focus on understanding which communities we are reaching – and which we are not.
We’ve collected a fair amount of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) data throughout our 25 years of funding. We’ve always wanted to use this to help design and improve our offer.
In the past, we’ve tried to categorise our grants and those who are receiving the benefit of the funding in a range of ways. Sometimes we’ve had too many categories, sometimes we’ve not collected these data consistently, and sometimes we’ve not asked the right questions in quite the right way. These issues have combined to mean that we can’t easily compare our past and current performance, or our funding with other organisations. Such problems have led me towards the DEI Data Standard, which will inform our new approach – more on that below.
I’m going to be using a variety of ways to improve our DE&I data and to make it shareable so that City Bridge Trust can be transparent about what we collect and about the diverse communities we fund. DE&I has become an organisational priority with internal and external pressure alike, whether direct or from movements like Black Lives Matter. Plus administering the LCRF grant-making has shown us how DE&I can work in practice inside the organisation, where we all want to make sure that what we do helps our mission to reduce inequality and grow stronger, more resilient and thriving communities.
We are currently doing three things to ensure that we can improve our current data as well as our collection methods for future data:
- As part of the Funders Alliance on Race Equality we are undertaking a Race Equality Audit, which is a statistically significant sample review of our grants and will give us a snapshot of how our funding reaches Black Asian and Minority Ethnic-led groups and contributes towards race equality outcomes.
- As part of the DEI group for data analysts, I will be inputting to and agreeing on the DEI Data Standard, which City Bridge Trust will use both going forward and to re-code our current funding portfolio to ensure comparison is possible with internal and external benchmarks.
- I have conducted a key word search analysis of all our current grants to analyse the descriptive words used within the grant applications to see who each grant is helping. The output of this will be published separately and will inform the re-coding work under our new standardised approach.
In addition, we will continue to upload our grant-making data onto 360Giving.
These three new pieces of work will help us understand where we are right now, and to set us on a solid course ahead, where we can use our data to help us target those who need it the most as we strive for equity in the capital.
If you have any comments about what you would like to see us do with our data, questions about our data or methods, or want to share your example of best practice with us please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us an anonymous review on GrantAdvisor.