Principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Who we are, what we do, and how we do it

From its inception, philanthropic grantmaking at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has been guided by our founders’ intent. We aim to create positive change for future generations. We are an outcomes-driven organization. We take a scientific approach. We measure results. Programmatically, we advance scientific discovery, environmental conservation, and the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

We believe there can be no truly lasting change for the good if that change is not just and widely shared. When we help conserve a threatened ecosystem, it can benefit the entire planet and should engage the local people who depend on its resources. When we enable scientific discovery, that knowledge is universal and should give everyone a better future. When we invest in our local community, we enhance the quality of life for all residents.  

In our work, we face many choices and sometimes conflicting values. As grantmakers, we benefit from examining our aims and assumptions through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, asking such questions as: 

  • When Indigenous peoples are centrally involved in our work, are we engaging them respectfully and effectively? 
  • How can we better engage historically and currently excluded communities and broaden constituencies to enhance the scale and durability of environmental conservation?
  • How can we make the scientific enterprise more welcoming and responsive to everyone who can and wants to contribute? How can we better share the wonder and benefits that science has to offer?
  • How can local investments honor the vibrant diversity of the Bay Area and ensure equitable access to the lands we conserve and the public-serving institutions we support?
  • In what ways do our own identities, backgrounds and experiences bias our choices of grantees?
  • Have we intentionally reached beyond our familiar networks to challenge our assumptions, broaden our vision, gain fresh insights, and identify new ideas, solutions and partners?

Comprehending and incorporating values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in pursuing goals and refining strategies is vital to achieving our desired outcomes. These values weave through what we do and drive how we operate.  

Consequently, as an employer, we depend on individuals who possess varied skills, perspectives and expertise. We seek to recognize many forms of excellence in candidates, attract individuals with varied identities and backgrounds, and enable all employees to feel they belong and can contribute to the mission of the Moore Foundation. Success depends, in part, on having institutional policies and practices that signal appreciation for each colleague and facilitate open and honest relationships.  

Beyond sound policy and avoiding overt discrimination, success depends on how well we treat one another every day. This begins with genuine respect for one another and extends to awareness of implicit bias and understanding how our behavior affects others, their dignity, and their agency. While this applies to all staff, it is a particular responsibility for those in positions of authority.  

Guided by our foundation values and attributes, we recognize that an inclusive culture can only be built from the inside, by each of us, to:  

  • Act in a way that earns the trust and respect of others.
  • Create a welcoming and supportive environment for every staff member.
  • Acknowledge and value each colleague’s dignity, experience, expertise and contributions.
  • Listen to others with an open mind and an open heart.
  • Build effective teams and support collaboration.

By deepening our understanding of how diversity, equity, and inclusion intersect with all we do, both in grantmaking and in our workplace relationships, we can continually improve our ability to fulfill our founders’ intent to create positive outcomes for future generations. Within the framework provided by our founders, we strongly affirm our adherence to principles of fairness and equity, of embracing diversity in persons and ideas, and in providing a workplace where all staff are accepted, respected and supported.  

We are ever mindful of the privilege of deploying the resources entrusted by our founders, and we seek to learn from their example of humility and generosity. In pursuit of their vision, we uphold the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion because it is our civic responsibility; because they contribute materially to the success of our programs; because they enable every member of our organization to do their best work; and because appreciating a variety of cultures, perspectives, and identities enriches our lives and work.