Equitable Language Resources

More than a professional grant seeking firm, we are a team of individuals who care deeply about racial justice and equality. We have compiled these resources to help grant funders and nonprofits alike to address systemic racism and shift the field of grant seeking and grant making to be more equitable.

Guide to Equitable Language

No matter our nonprofit organization’s mission or purpose, we all have an opportunity and responsibility to be on the side of striving for justice and dismantling racism. This work can start with challenging ourselves, our colleagues, and even our funders to use language that empowers, rather than disempowers, the people and groups our organizations engage and serve.

Guide to Equitable Language Image

Equitable Language Resources

We have gathered a list of useful resources listed below.


More Than Numbers: A Guide Toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Data Collection


American Psychological Association: Bias-Free Language Guide


ADA National Network: Guidelines for Writing About People with Disabilities 


A Progressive's Style Guide



GLAAD: An Ally's Guide to Terminology


The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies: Inclusive Language Guide


Shelterforce: Guide to Racially Loaded Community Planning and Development Terms

Racial Justice Grant Webinars

Check Your Labels: Race, Identity, and Power in Grant Writing

Live webinar aired: October 2020

What you will gain from this webinar: Grant writing requires making choices about language. How do the labels we choose either empower or disempower the individuals and groups our institutions serve? View our webinar recording featuring Grants Plus Managing Director Dana Textoris and Interlochen Center for the Arts Major Gifts Officer Carlton Ford to experience a spirited exploration of language at the intersection of race and identity. 

Mr. Ford brings his perspective as a fundraiser and as author of a widely-circulated recent Op-Ed that appeared this past summer in the Miami Herald. In his piece, Mr. Ford calls on us to find alternatives to terms like “underserved” and “underrepresented,” which can too often be our shorthand in grant proposals for talking about minority communities – but, Mr. Ford asks, “Whom do we serve by labeling an entire community as ‘under’ anything?”

It’s time we examine and challenge the common tendency in grant writing to rely on ubiquitous phrases and careless jargon that fails to honor the complexity and diversity of people. Together we will discover new terminology that will uplift our grant writing and each other.

Securing Racial Justice Grants

Live webinar aired: July 2020

What you will gain from this webinar: Foundations are making grants to address racism, inequality, and injustice. How can your organization find these funding opportunities and make the most compelling case in grant proposals for your work to advance racial equity? View the webinar recording to learn how funders are supporting this work, what they expect of grantees, and how your organization can successfully compete for funding.

Other Resources

The Racial Equity Institute

REI's Groundwater training provides training that helps individuals and organizations identify structural racism.

Harvard University's Project Implicit

Project Implicit provides a variety of tests that allow individuals to assess their own internal biases on race, gender, age, and other factors. Recognizing one's own biases can be a first step toward addressing them personally and in our work.

Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

The Initiative's Grantmaking With a Racial Justice Lens guide provides useful tools for funders that are interested in implementing structural changes that lead to racial equity.

Philanthropy Ohio's Putting Racism on the Table Series

This series helps philanthropists (including foundations) explore the role they can play in addressing racial inequity.

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