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.

London, seen from high above, by a satellite at night. The city is illuminated by numerous, thin lines of gold.
  • Author: Dr Emma Horrigan
  • Published: 21 April 2022

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

As we work towards equitable funding in London, alongside other partners in the sector, 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.

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 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 funding applications. The Standard is already live on several funders’ websites, including BBC Children in Need.

The John Ellerman Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation are also working towards implementation, amongst a range of other funders – big and small.

Funding applications – standardising the questions

What this means is that applications to funders who have joined up to the Standard will request the same data, in the same format, when 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

This data will then be shared through 360Giving. We will then be able to see the big picture across these areas and spot patterns or gaps emerging. This will ultimately allow us to improve on the work we do, ensuring we are using our money to have the greatest equitable 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, for instance:

  • are the questions simple to understand and helping them achieve their goals?
  • are we asking for data that applicants already have?
  • 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.

Sharing and comparing the data

This data will be soon be shared alongside the rest of our 360Giving data, and in time, means that our data will be available to compare alongside other 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, 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-2023.

Learn more

If you’re a funder and want to know more about the Standard, visit the resource page on the Funders Collaborative Hub, which is 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.