Diversity, equity and inclusion: introducing the DEI Data Standard


Dr Emma Horrigan explains how a shared DEI Data Standard will allow us to ensure our funding is having the greatest beneficial impact across London

Satellite image of London taken at night, showing the city glowing with lines and patches of light.

At City Bridge Trust, we have been working hard on putting our ambitious diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plans into action, following a renewed organisational commitment to DEI earlier this year.

As we work alongside partners in the sector towards equity in London, we need to have better insights into where we could improve our reach or impact. One way to do that is to analyse and make sense of our data – collectively if possible – in particular on race.

The DEI Data Standard

Back in February 2021 we laid out our plans to join a voluntary group of funders implementing the DEI Data Standard, as well as to recode all our historical grants with more substantive and robust data. This is so we could more easily understand and trust what our outcomes and impact is expected to be across our programmes of work. This was a priority area for us and it very much chimes with our organisational values.

The DEI Data Standard (the Standard) is a collaboration between a range of organisations within the London Funders collective to agree and implement a common approach to DEI data capture on applications.

The Standard is already live on several funders’ websites, including BBC Children in Need. Other funders, such as The John Ellerman Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, are working towards implementation, alongside a range of other funding organisations – big and small.

The importance of data

What this means is that applications to those funders subscribed to the Standard will ask for the same data in the same format when it comes to asking about things like:

  • The make-up of your board and leadership team
  • The people you will be reaching and their characteristics
  • What your organisation sets out to do

… and therefore we will be able to see the big picture across these areas, spot patterns emerging and benchmark our programmes against other foundations. This will ultimately allow us to improve on the work we do, ensuring we are using our money to have the greatest impact across London and to spot gaps in needs where our support could be beneficial.

We’re consulting with our applicants to make sure this new way of collecting data works for them: are the questions simple to understand and helping them achieve their goals, are we asking for data that applicants already have, and are we asking them in a way that means the information we receive is accurate and comparable? We need to get this right to make sure the approach works for everyone, and gets us the right information.

Data sharing

This data will be shared alongside the rest of our 360Giving data, and in time, means that this data will be available to compare across funders, giving a more accurate picture of how funders are targeting and supporting Londoners.

360Giving are currently working to ensure this new data is integrated nicely, but in the meantime, once data is collected it will be available via individual funders’ websites.

Our data is published on our website at Data on our Funding: 360 Giving. We aim to start publishing our DEI data in mid-2022.

If you’re a funder and want to know more about the Standard, go to the resource page on the Funders Collaborative, who are hosting the documentation for this project. If you’re a funded organisation, you can use the same link to check out the questions that form the basis of the Standard.

Dr Emma Horrigan is a Data Analyst at City Bridge Trust, working as part of our Impact and Learning Team.