Funded Partner Spotlight: Florida Philanthropic Network

Nov 30, 2023News
Ashley Dietz and the Florida Philanthropic Network

While we award most of our grant funding to local nonprofits advancing health and racial equity in our St. Petersburg community, the Foundation also works with philanthropic organizations to further a focus on equity in philanthropy more broadly. Toward that end, we are active members of the Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN) and support FPN as it strives to enhance equity in philanthropy throughout the state.

FPN is a statewide membership network of philanthropic organizations (or funders) working to build philanthropy for a better Florida. As a Foundation funded partner, the group holds equity as one of its core values and a strategic focus area and applies an equity lens to everything they do.

“Through our convenings, we work to create the space and time for other organizations to share what they’re doing in the equity space so that members may learn from each other,” FPN President and CEO Ashley Heath Dietz said. “In everything we do, we always think about who’s not represented, who’s not at the table and why. Using an equity lens doesn’t mean we always get it right or that we’re perfect. But we’re always trying to evaluate and think about how we can be better and, in turn, how to provide resources so the sector can be better.”

In addition to hosting convenings of statewide funders where equity is focused on and centered, FPN strives to apply an equity lens to its own internal functions as a philanthropic organization. On a micro level, FPN has made intentional efforts to utilize vendors and businesses owned and operated by people of color. At a more strategic level, they’ve made efforts to diversify their board and also recruit skilled equity thought leaders like Barbara Roole and Roshell Rinkins.

“Anything we bring to the table, they’re going to bring their unique perspective as equity leaders and also as a person of color,” Dietz said. “They ask questions that maybe we haven’t thought of, and have made us a more well-balanced, well-rounded organization. They are incredible assets that help us better serve our members because of the perspective they provide.”

One of FPN’s major projects in the years ahead – which will also provide an opportunity for local nonprofits to engage with the group – will be working to improve the Census count in Florida in 2030.

“We were heavily involved in the 2020 Census and helped achieve a 1% increase in the count,” said Dietz, adding that Florida still had the fourth worst Census undercount in the country and that population undercounts are especially prevalent in marginalized communities including communities of color. Census counts are so important, in part, because they help determine how many members of Congress represent each state and how certain pools of federal money are distributed.

“The 2030 Census may seem far away, but in a state as large as ours with so many people moving here, we have to get on it now,” Dietz said. “The infrastructure isn’t where it should be given the size of our state, and this is an issue for all parties to care about because 2020’s undercount led to our state potentially missing out on between $11 billion and $15 billion in taxpayer dollars.”

Starting in January, FPN will be working to help cultivate relationships with nonprofit partners who can help with targeted outreach in undercounted communities, and will provide grant opportunities to non-profit organization in those communities who are interested in being a census partner.

“There’s nobody better to help in our Census 2030 efforts than people living and working in community, interfacing in community, and who already have that trust,” Dietz said.

For more information on FPN, visit

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