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Equalities data: working towards a shared taxonomy


By Tania Cohen, Chief Executive of 360Giving, and Bonnie Chiu, Managing Director of The Social Investment Consultancy

At 360Giving, we are excited to unveil a new project we’re working on with The Social Investment Consultancy, which specialises in impact measurement for charities and foundations. They previously co-founded the Diversity Forum for Inclusive Social Investment.

We are coordinating an effort to work towards a shared taxonomy for those that fund voluntary sector organisations that work with and support communities of identity or experience, particularly minoritised communities.

This project is being funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. It is being steered by the DEI Data Group, an open coalition of foundations working alongside the DEI Coalition and the Funders Alliance for Race Equality.

There have been several funder initiatives, reviewing options and exploring the collection of equalities data, particularly race and ethnicity information, to fill some of the gaps.

However, there remains a need for a more effective longer-term solution for collection of equalities data. We need to build a wider intersectional data infrastructure for the sector that takes into account the overlap of complex identities. And we need to listen to and prioritise the voices of voluntary sector organisations, who ultimately shoulder the burden of collecting and providing the data.

The outcome of this process will be to co-create a taxonomy for use by funders of the sector, so we can classify voluntary sector organisations by demographic information – particularly equalities data – for consistent reporting, data collection and analysis.

This will also pave the way for more guidance to be developed, and potentially for an extension to the 360Giving Data Standard, if needed, so that this information can be recorded with grants data.

We will be reaching out to a wide range of membership organisations, specialist sector infrastructure bodies, charities with research expertise and intermediaries throughout October to engage and consult with them.

If you would like to add your voice, or ask any questions about this project, please email Bonnie at