Video: Allan Golston, Asahi Pompey And Aaron Dorfman Discuss Philanthropy And Racial Economic Justice At 2023 Just Economy Conference

NCRC Just Economy Conference 2023 —  Recorded March 29, 2023

Allan Golston, Asahi Pompey and Aaron Dorfman discuss philanthropy and racial economic justice at 2023 Just Economy Conference.

Speakers: Allan Golston, President of the US Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Asahi Pompey, Global Head of Corporate Engagement and President, Goldman Sachs Foundation; Aaron Dorfman, President & CEO, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy


NCRC video transcripts are produced by a third-party transcription service and may contain errors. They are lightly edited for style and clarity.


AARON DORFMAN: So great to be here with all of you today. We’re really looking forward to this conversation. And we’re just going to dig right in Andrew really teed that up well, inequality is off the charts. It’s worse than it’s ever been. Foundations are working hard to support community development, equitable finance, social mobility. But they can’t do it all. So I would love to hear from each of you, Alan, maybe we’ll start with you. Tell me about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s work on economic mobility.


ALLAN GOLSTON: Well, appreciate it. And it’s great to be here. Good afternoon to everyone. excited to hear your questions and learn from my great colleagues here. I think it is impossible to overstate the fact that we’re at a real inflection point as we navigate in this country, kind of the recovery and economic recovery. And there are, you know, tremendous headwinds that we have to deal with in order to make sure that the recovery is equitable and inclusive, there are three probably challenges that stand out for me and for us at the foundation.

In terms of our work, I think the first one is just that economic mobility is decreasing. If you look at the 1940s children born in the 1940s 90% of those children made more than their parents, if you fast forward to current times the latest data in the 1980s, only 50% of children are making more or will make more than their parents. And of course, the second challenge is that disproportionately impacts people of color, women, those who come from, or experiencing poverty or low-income backgrounds. The third challenge that I would just point out, is that the aspirations of millions of people in this country are the same.

They want to have livable wages live with dignity, navigate social and economic mobility in this country. But they’re stifled by stagnant wages. They’re stifled by low quality jobs. And they absolutely are stifled by all the red tape to get access to the types of supports and any of the safety net benefits that can help them and put them in their families on a path.

So our focus is really squarely on the 50 million people who are living in this country who are 200% below the federal poverty level, those are disproportionately BIPOC individuals and families or experiencing obviously, as significant challenges with income stability. And we’re very much focused on aiming to reduce the fragmentation and to increase coordination in the sector. So we’re aiming not to duplicate efforts in the verticals, but to work across government, small and medium sized businesses, other philanthropic partners, researchers, policymakers, advocacy organizations, to really support and build on their efforts to really boost short-term supports for economic mobility, but also over the long term to change the systems that are creating the challenges. So very much looking forward to engaging in the conversation and excited to be here again.


DORFMAN: Awesome. Thanks, Alan. Yeah. Asahi, tell me what is the Goldman Sachs foundation doing to address some of some of these important issues?


ASAHI POMPEY: Yeah, sure. First of all, it’s really a pleasure to be here with all of you. I stand in a place of gratitude to Jesse and the entire NCRC team for really putting this together and bringing us all together in this way.

In terms of what Goldman Sachs is doing, I want to sort of take you behind the scenes in terms of how we think about our approach, which then leads to what we do, and I think it’ll dovetail very well with what Alan mentioned.

First, we think about where is Goldman Sachs uniquely positioned to help. Right, any foundation who says I can be all things to all people are not giving you the straight skinny? We can’t be? So we’ve got to figure out what’s our place. And how can we what areas can we have a differentiated impact. And as leading the Goldman Sachs Foundation, we understand the importance of moving capital and activating capital for systemic change.

The second thing we think about is, in order to create systemic change, you need sustained focus, not episodic, not drunk drive by philanthropy, but you need sustained focus in order to accomplish that. So as we think of At our programs, in particular, you’ll see when we launch a program, we launch it for an extended period of time. So I’ll give you an example. We launched our 10,000 Women program 15 years ago, we’re still at it. Because here’s the thing, helping women entrepreneurs in developing markets takes longer than a two-year cycle or a new cycle. To do that. We have another program 10,000 small businesses, we work with entrepreneurs across all 50 states providing best in class education.

We’re in our 13th year of that program, again, sustained focus. Two years ago, in you know, the depths of the pandemic post the murder of George Floyd, we were thinking about, where else can Goldman Sachs mobilize. And frankly, if I’m taking you behind the scenes, there was a lot of discussion around Do we just make a large donation, and we decided we’re not going to do that we’re going to do what historically we’ve done, which is to really plant our flag and stay there for a sustained period of time. So on the back of that we launched two years ago, though, we’re coming up on the second year anniversary in a couple of weeks, 1 million black women. Simply put, it’s the largest commitment ever in this country specifically focused on black women $10 billion of investment capital, married with 100 million of philanthropic capital, with the audacious goal of positively impacting the lives of at least a million black women by the year 2030. Thank you. And again, 10 year initiatives.

So as you think about differentiated impact, sustained focus, and not just philanthropy, but philanthropy coupled with what we do day to day, Goldman Sachs is not a philanthropic organization on our day to day, right, we are an investment bank. So we need to put that capital to work, which is mostly what we do marrying that with philanthropy to get deeply into communities. The last part I’ll mention is a partnership approach.

We know that you have been in communities doing the work. And in order for us to be effective, we’ve got to find you, and partner with you to do that. And so when we launched a million black women, we did something, frankly, in our history, we hadn’t really done before, we launched the largest sort of commercial philanthropic program with listening tours.

We said and I have to tell you, when we started, I could not tell you, Alan and Aaron, how many listing tours we were intending to do, we did not know.

I can’t tell you how many people were going to join those tours, we did not know, as I stand here today, we’ve conducted 56 listing sessions with over 20,000 women and girls across the country have said, if you’re investing in black women, I’ve got an idea for you. I’ve got a nonprofit. I’ve got an investment idea. I want you to come to my community, I want you to see the great work we’re doing. And it’s been an incredible response. And it’s our obligation to then respond back in terms of our grant-making and our program development. And that’s what we’re doing.


DORFMAN: Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you. I’m curious, I want to dig in a little bit on the strategic approach here. Some of what both of you have been describing is helping people advance economically within the confines of our current systems.


Other foundations that work on these issues are focused on building power so that communities can change laws and policies that are keeping them down economically.


I’m thinking of foundations like the Ford Foundation or the Omidyar networks worker power Initiative, or the James Irvine Foundation in California. How did you all settle on your strategy as right for your foundation? And how is that complementary to? Or is it in tension with the work of these more systems-changed policy change-focused funders in this space?


GOLSTON: While I’d be interested in getting your thoughts on that to what you see in the sector, but similar to you, we have a clearer perspective on what our differentiated core competencies are. And so that shapes our strategy, and I would say it’s a bit hybrid. So for example, we have partnered with the Irvine Foundation and the Ford Foundation in supporting pulled funding in the family and workers fund to get resources to families and workers to really boost quality jobs, access to jobs, etc. So that’s an example where we fundamentally think more capital has to go to the types of organizations and entities and communities that they engage in and font so that’s an example where we put All capital, we’re not trying to drive a specific strategic goal. But they know what they’re doing. They have the relationships, they’re proximal to the communities that we really need to support. And that’s an example of, of how how we approach it.


A different example would be that may be a bit in the middle is funding partnerships that we do with Cognizant, the Schusterman Foundation, a whole host of other foundations across the country that supports an organization called work rights and work Rhys is an organization hosted at the Urban Institute, and its objective is to bring partners across policy and research practitioners advocates, to really both identify test and design ideas that our leading edge that many philanthropic organizations, including ours wouldn’t have necessarily funded or known about, but have the transformative power potentially, to advance the labor force and labor markets of the individuals that we’re trying to get to through our strategy. And that’s where we see, okay, they have, they’re governed differently. They’re governed by proximal partners, they decide where the resources go. And they identify the projects, the research organizations, they partner with the HBCU community to bring in students and researchers who have much more lived experience and understanding and solving the problem. So that’s another example where we don’t take the traditional approach, you will see us in CS taken some of our other other strategies, we’re pretty excited about it.


We’ve been in this space for a very short time, we started with a four year commitment of roughly $200 million. Last year, we doubled that commitment to 450 million over a four year period, to really make sure that we’re supporting more proximal partners, we’re pushing as much decision making down to the communities and the partners who engage in those communities as possible. But with clear objectives of making lives better now, both through access to safety net benefits, boosting the workforce, supporting and improving job quality, by supporting local actors, decision makers, government entities at a local level, to identify network and implement best practices, both with just understanding what they are, and with technical assistance, and then also bringing together and convening partners across sector to be able to collaborate in ways to advance that agenda and to leverage each other’s collective assets. Thanks.


POMPEY: yeah. I mean, here’s the way I think about it. The premise of your question is, that sets up a dichotomy, right? There are these philanthropic organizations that are focused on sort of power change, system and change. And then there are other philanthropic organizations or efforts that are focused on other areas, I would argue that there is no power change without activating capital, money, the economy, and that’s what we do at the bank. So all of our initiatives, ultimately will lead to power change if we’re successful in moving money and markets and redistributing it. And frankly, I would say addressing where there’s been a capital misalignment to opportunity, and I’ll tell you a specific example, we have an initiative that’s under 1 million black women called Black in business. And here’s what we were noticing. Black women are starting businesses faster than any other demographic in the United States. So when you think about the entrepreneur is a guy with his hood, and you know, in the in the garage, think of a black, replace that and think of that, as a black woman. She’s starting businesses faster than any other demographic. However, what we were also seeing is that within three years, 97% of those businesses failed. And to compound it, she was in a worse position after having started that business, why she’s now in debt. She’s borrowed from friends and family. If she had a 401 K, she borrowed against that, and that’s now gone. And maybe she quit her job to put her full effort into that business. And so we stepped in and said, What if we could pull through all that grit and effort that it takes to launch a business? We were able to meet her when she started that business and be able to help her business grow and be successful. She hires individuals in her community, entrepreneurs become community leaders and activists. We’ve seen that the data supports it over time, and really have real economic change. That’s our effort in black and business. If you know black women entrepreneurs, who would be eligible for black in business, send them my way, in particular. But what that does is that’s about power change, because all of a sudden, that entrepreneurs are those hundreds of entrepreneurs. So far, we’ve been able to work with 460, but we’re making the program larger, they are becoming power centers in their community over time, job creators, innovators. And so I would argue that that form of philanthropy is about power and system change. If we’re able to get those. I want to get all 97 businesses that 97% to being successful, we won’t, but we’re going to darn well do our best to do it, because they’re putting in the effort and it’s on us to meet them where they are to help them grow.


DORFMAN: Allan, I wonder if you could expand a little bit on the devolving some of the decision making down to the community level if there’s been a rap on the Gates Foundation. Over the years, it’s been that you are too driven by deference to experts. So who really is an expert when it comes to economic justice and mobility issues?


GOLSTON: Yeah, well, it’s, it’s a fair and an unfair rap. But we take the criticism very seriously. And in fact, when we developed our economic mobility strategy, it was very purposeful, to center those who have lived experience as the experts. So our strategy was really sourced and developed from what we call the field from the communities that know, what they’re going through and know what the types of solutions need to be. We worked with Oregon, a partnership on mobility from poverty, it was made up of community members, researchers, policymakers, all who had equal power and influence. And they identified in kind of current terms, what needs to happen in order to boost systemically economic mobility and opportunity. So the fundamentals of our strategy, we’re not us kind of going to, you know, Boston Consulting Group and say, Hey, what do you know, we’re going to the research houses, but to really listen to the community, I participated in a lot of these discussions, there was a lot of debate and a lot of interrogation of some of the ideas and concepts. But the inspiration came from the community. And that is what shaped our strategy. So I’d say that’s point number one, the fundamental part of the strategy and the anchors of the strategy were shaped by the community, and the stakeholders who we’re trying to reach.


The second thing I would say, is, we are evolving our model to really work with partners who have an understanding of the communities that we serve, and that they centered their views and expertise and experiences as central to moving and advancing the field. And we’re deploying capital to those partners who can get much more resources out to local proximate partners to advance the work. And example of how we’re trying to do this actually builds on your example. So which when you look at where we really need to improve job quality, it is with small and medium businesses, and a lot of these small and medium businesses or small businesses are started by entrepreneurs of color, black women, Latino women. And when you look at their success rate, we found exactly what you found.


POMPEY: Wao. It’s heartbreaking.


GOLSTON: And it’s completely heartbreaking. And we looked at it through because they employ a lot of local kind of community members and their businesses and you want them to succeed. And when we looked at the kind of constructs of the jobs, it was very clear, they didn’t have the technical assistance or the access to capital to boost the job quality, like stable scheduling and those types of things. It’s not that they didn’t want stable scheduling, they didn’t have equitable access to capital and the just technical support over the long term to be able to do it. So we have partnered with a number of partners like US Bank and others to and CDFIs to deploy the capital to provide technical assistance and to support these small businesses to not only boost their profits, but also to improve the constructs of the jobs that they’re hiring, so that they can retain talent, everyone can win, and that they ultimately succeed. So those are just some of the examples of how we’ve shifted how we work through this strategy.


DORFMAN: Great. Thanks. Yeah. Asahi, I’m wondering if you can address maybe the tension if there is any between? I mean, I think many people in this room might say that the investment side of Goldman Sachs is part of the problem, not the solution, that it’s driving the inequality. And yeah, how do you how do you deal with that tension?


POMPEY: Look, I I’m not, I’m not going to be the defenders of banks in the sense of, I would say that, that, to some extent, banks, we all know, had been part of the problem. I mean, you think about redlining and all of that. Banks have been part of the problem. And we have to acknowledge that and accept that, and move from there to say, now what? And so I would acknowledge that and accept that. Banks have been historically and to some extent continue to be in some of their practices, part of the problem. The issue then is, one, you have to think about changing some of those systems. Now with a sense of urgency, and in addition, figure out ways in which banks can activate their capital to change the tide. And I think part of what we’re trying to do is through initiatives, like the ones that I run is to do that, but I’m not going to fight you on that acknowledgement. They put it that way.


DORFMAN: Yeah. Yeah. So people are also probably wondering here, how do their organizations get funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

Allen’s number


POMPEY: Allen’s number is 9642. I’m not going to tell you the last four numbers.


DORFMAN: Any advice for community development organizations, grassroots organizations that are here at this conference?


GOLSTON: So for us, we’re, we are, we learned in the first phases of our strategy, we’re not set up to make a lot of grants, we were just not set up at the foundation to do that. So we’ve been working to both build and support capacity building of a small set of partners who we will find their capacity, and capital flows to proximal partners to advance a common set of goals and an agenda. And it’s through those organizations who will decide which partners are doing the work, how they collaborate, how to resource them, how to build their capacity, and those types of things. We don’t accept unsolicited proposals. And we don’t intend to start because we just can’t handle the volume. And we’re not going to be ever good at picking individual partners over others. So we’re working with, again, to support partners who know, the communities that we’re trying to impact. They know the systems, they include and center, proximal partners, in their strategies and in their work. And they’re going to deploy a large majority of our strategic capital.


POMPEY: I’m going to start by telling you a story. And then I’m going to take you behind the scenes and give you a four part playbook that I from my experience as to how you can potentially get more funding.


I’m an immigrant. I’m not I didn’t grow up in philanthropy, I did not dream of a job in philanthropy at all. When I got out of school, my aim was to get a job to pay back my $74,000 worth of loans. We came here when I was 10 years old, we moved into the housing projects in Brooklyn. All seven of us moved into my aunt’s one bedroom apartment, anybody who’s from New York City, you’ll know the Vanderveer housing projects is one of the large housing projects in Flatbush. And I know what it’s like to have ambition and to be built by parents who are preparing me to go into rooms that they know they’ll never go to and to travel to places they know they’ll never go, but they are building kids to be able to go to those places. And dare I say lead in those places. And so I feel intensely the obligation and the responsibility and frankly, the mission, that when I’m now in that place to be able to lead in a way that is differentiated, that is equitable, and I hold myself accountable to that. Now, how does that play out in terms of giving funding? One is if you’re asking for funding and you want to get funding and Alan you have to back me up and if you agree with some aspects of the playbook part, one of the playbook is this, do a real analysis around calibrating the org and what they’re focused on and what you’re focused on. What do I mean by that? If someone walks in and they say, I’ve got this amazing, I understand you’ve got this initiative 10,000 small businesses. And I’ve got something related to small businesses that you need to know about in Philadelphia, or in Tulsa, or wherever the case may be. I’m going to listen, right? Because I, that’s, I am focused specifically on small businesses. And you can help me up Goldman Sachs to further this initiative that I’m doing, we have this initiative related to black women, as I mentioned. So if you can calibrate how what you’re doing is aligned with the person that you’re asking for funding with? That is like the door opener, they’re gonna listen, I had an amazing person come to me last week, I love the country of Cameroon, let me say that, and they really had this amazing project in Cameroon, I love camera, I’m not able to work to do that particular project, it’s not really as much aligned with the work that I’m doing. Right. So that I’d say is, number one. Number two is ask for more than just money. What do I mean by that? So maybe you’re asking for volunteers, maybe you’re asking for somebody to sit on the board of your organization, maybe you’re asking for investment capital, why? Because then you’re giving me more tools to work with, right, I can activate some of our 40,000 employees to work with your organization. Depending on where you’re located. We have offices, you know, in so many states around the country, I can have, you know, work with one of our VPS or MD zone partners to try to be on the board of your organization. So where I’m going to try to give capital if I can, and it’s mission aligned. But I’ve got other things in the suite that people sometimes don’t ask for.


Why is asking for employees, important? Employees internally and corporations are activated? What do I mean by that? You get a few employees in a corporation, that care about your organization and your nonprofit, they will ping me internally, they will find me in the hallway, they will find my team and other senior leadership to say, this is a phenomenal organization, you’re giving to these big guys over there. You need to know what they’re doing. It’s got an amazing leadership. So you’re getting this grassroots approach, all of a sudden, I’m sitting in my office, and I’ve got a ping about this not unlike this the third time I’m hearing about the same nonprofit, who is this? Let me know some more, right? So it doesn’t always have to be go to the most powerful senior person, if you can, great, I’ll take their phone calls, do they pay my bills, however, you can activate from the ground up or wherever you can get in that’s particularly helpful that that can do it.


The board members are helpful as well, because they know more about the organization. So I’d say is this helpful at all? I don’t I’m like passionate about this. Okay, good. So, so one is calibrate Michel alignment and see how that works. Two is figure out ask for more than just capital ask for money, money is important to do it. Three is the real real is relationships matter. So to the extent that you know, no, someone in the organization, sometimes it makes it easier. That being said, That worries me. And that’s something that I think about, namely, they’re phenomenal people doing great work that I don’t know, and don’t know anyone who works at Goldman Sachs, that doesn’t mean that they’re not doing great work, they just don’t know, they don’t have that entry point. So what we did is, we launched an open RFP process, and we still have that. So figure out when these open RFP processes are, because that’s when the corporation’s like when you open their door, right. And that’s the point to be able to say, hey, I want to I want, I’m doing some phenomenal work here, you need to know about me, you need to know about the work that we’re doing. We’re committed, we’re passionate about it, we need your help, in terms of furthering the work that we’re doing. So figuring out when those processes are, I had an amazing nonprofit, contact me, but it was after our RFP process closed, and I was like, you’re probably going to have to wait another cycle to be able to be a part of it. And so that’s the other thing that I would say, as well. I hope that’s helpful.


DORFMAN: Yeah, that was great. Thank you. And really great to hear about the open RFP because, you know, one of the big trends that I’ve observed over the last 20 years is fewer and fewer foundations are accepting unsolicited proposals at any time. And that is a huge frustration to all of our nonprofit members. How do you get noticed how do you how do you break in it’s I mean, I, I get it that it’s hard to sort through all these applications, but it’s very frustrating for a smaller nonprofit to feel like I can’t even apply.


GOLSTON: Yeah, we I agree with you. We do what we call grand challenges on specific problems from time to time. We do everything we can He had to broadcast when those are opening and closing. So we use a similar technique to try to discover, and also encourage our partners to do the same. We’ll have most of the capital. Yeah, future.


POMPEY: One of the exciting things, Aaron, that I have to tell you is, I was able to give a grant to someone I met in a chat room, literally from one of our listening sessions. And she wrote this huge thing in the chat box. And we were reading everything, every chat that came in from our million black woman listening session. And I was like, We got to figure out who this woman is, like, let’s let’s follow up, contacted her, we were able to give a grant. So whatever in you have, like maximize that opportunity to get noticed.


DORFMAN: Yeah. And I on the same topic, thinking about the McKenzie Scott open call that she just put out, terrific. $250 million grants going to be going into community-based organizations. And yet, and still, some of the limitations on that are going to leave out a whole bunch of amazing organizations, she’s got a million-dollar minimum budget size, for a group to even be considered audits for the last three years. And so my fear is that you know, BIPOC-led organizations in low philanthropic wealth states like Alabama, and Mississippi and New Mexico, there are very few that have a million dollar or larger budget, and I think they’re gonna see some challenges in moving money. And maybe they’ll have to do another round of giving that is targeted to the, to the smaller organizations or other funders, they’re going to have to step up to the plate, because those smaller groups play a really important role in the social change ecosystem, as well. What, what questions do you guys have for each other?


GOLSTON: Well, I do actually have a question for you. What’s your cell number to give to the grid? But seriously, we that the RFP structure, I think is really positive. And then we’ve learned some really tough lessons, because you always have, like, let’s just say it’s a $10 million, or $25 million, whatever, pick a number. So you have sometimes hundreds of organizations doing tons of work, to prepare, and to be, quote unquote, competitive for it when it’s going to be 25 organizations or 30, or some elected subset that are ultimately selected. My sense is that we in philanthropy can do a better job to one make that more equitable, because if you have more capacity are able to do things that other organizations that just don’t have, and haven’t been invested in can’t. But if you have lessons learned on reducing the burden, they can’t more equitable. I’m just curious, because you’ve done so much directly with awesome makeovers. How to how have you?


POMPEY: It’s an awesome question. So everything I learned, I learned most recently through the listening sessions. And so what were these women’s saying heads of nonprofits loud and clear. One is multi year grants. I don’t, I love a one year grant, but I need multi year funding. One, too, is they were saying I want unrestricted funding. Three is, I want trust-based capital, patient capital, you know, because it’s going to take me a while to do all that I’m doing. And I want trust-based capital. Three is you should look at they were telling me, that’s how you make sure you’re looking at the leadership of these nonprofits that you’re giving to whether the leadership of the organization is reflective of the communities that they’re serving. was another thing that they said the other thing they said is the all that paperwork, I need to hire three people to do all that you guys are asking me to do. And that’s not a good use of my time.




POMPEY: And so when we did our most recent RFP process, we literally made it like five questions. And we timed with the team, how long it would take a nonprofit to do. And we did a two part process. The first part is you literally had like several guests, no questions. Who is the leadership of your organization? What are you serving? Dakka Dakka. If you didn’t get past that stage, there was no need to submit a doc Do this. Do that.




POMPEY:  Right. because your time is valuable. And you don’t want to be pouring into a bottomless pit. If you’re not going to get a result back. Right, you know that there’s a certain amount of hustle, and you don’t know exactly where it’s going to lead. But you want to pursue your efforts towards where you think it’s going to actually give you a result. And frankly, we do too. So we said well, why don’t we do this two-part process. And then if you make it to phase two, then you’re pretty likely to get a grant. And we’ll make that phase one. Some very quick questions that you can just knock out in five minutes and be done with it and say be well.


GOLSTON: similar lessons, good.


POMPEY:  I would love to sort of ask you it’s it’s a weird question. But I’ve been using chat GPT more and more and reading more about it. And I’ve been thinking about sort of the role of algorithms, and technology in the sort of face of philanthropy and systems change going forward, and what role that would have to play? I don’t have an answer. But I want to engage in a dialogue of smart people around what role will technology play. And is there an additional role that technology could be playing? Because these systems are being asked questions, and they’re outputting answers that everyone’s relying on to the extent and will be relying on more and more. And so it’s an information dissemination tool, and wondering how that will be used over time and how we influence you know, the world in the way that we want it to go based on those systems? It’s a big question and bizarre one, perhaps, but it’s an actual one I’ve been thinking about.


GOLSTON: Yeah, well, we are in the K 12, space and educational attainment very much focused on math and algebra, one proficiency in the types of student supports, that are needed to boost and make math engaging and relevant and inspiring, particularly for black students, Latino students, indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds. There are, I was just in this discussion a few weeks ago, that AI models, as you would expect, have been trained on, you know, students who don’t look like the students that we’re trying to reach, or the sample size is woefully short. So one role for philanthropy we see this as are one of the things that we can contribute, is to broaden the machine learning models so that they include the students that we’re trying to serve, because it’s only going to produce and provide answers and responses


POMPEY: to what you put in.


GOLSTON: for what you put in. And seriously, some of the, for example, early learning voice samples are middle class, mostly white learners. So how are you going to? How are you going to support the students, the wider range of students, black students, Latino students, etc, if you don’t have the training data, to support the learning models in a way that’s equitable, and will generate equitable outcomes, so one of the roles, so I personally believe and we believe that the foundation this will likely be one of the transformative times in that we see, but it will be grossly inequitable. If we don’t all double down to make sure that not only the models, the access, the cost, all of the things that will come forward with this are accessible by partners. Another example, is we get a lot we’re getting a lot of requests for partners on how to use these algorithms. And there’s not enough technical assistance or talent. So how do you give talent to the partner who you wouldn’t necessarily be on your radar screen and make those resources available that are more equitable and accessible? So those are two of the things.


POMPEY: I love that and it’s smart the way you’re thinking about because I fear that, you know, now is it’s becoming more prevalent. We can narrow that gap before it starts versus waking up in five or 10 years and being like, Oh, there’s another gap. You know, it’s sort of like, okay, we can see it’s, it’s gonna start to gap and how do we get in there before?


DORFMAN: I see our timer has flashed to zero here. There is one quick question from the audience. How badly has the value loss in the equities market impacted given levels for large foundations? I will say from my perch, it’s not yet really affecting the giving levels of large foundations because most of them are using the 12 quarter rolling average to calculate their payout rates. But if the markets stay down for an extended period, it’s we’re going to start to see some pullbacks from perpetual foundations. And that worries me, frankly, any thoughts on this?


GOLSTON: Sure. We have the benefit of having a living family and living donors, and they have just committed that they’re not going to decrease great payout. And in fact, they both announced that our payout will move from where it was last year, which is roughly 7 billion across the Global Initiatives domestically and global initiatives to roughly 9 billion. So irrespective of how the markets perform, they’re committed to doing their part to shift equitable outcomes across the globe. And we’re not. They’ve just decided we’re not going to be tied to the performance of the investments.


POMPEY: Yeah. Similarly, we are committed to this work at the levels that we described, and we’re not going to change course on that.


DORFMAN: Great to hear. Yeah. Well, thank you both for being part of this conversation.

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