Fair-Chance Hiring in Philanthropy: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Damon Hewitt; Daryl Atkinson; Manuel La Fontaine; Maurice Emsellem; Michelle Natividad Rodriguez; Norris Henderson; Rev. Kenneth Glasgow; Susan Burton; Tsjenna Daley; William Ché Nembhard

Oct 1, 2016

This report presents a 'Fair-Chance Hiring Toolkit' as a guide for foundations and other organizations to join the 'Ban the Box' challenge and expand opportunities for people who have been formerly incarcerated or arrested.

  • Mass incarceration and over-criminalization affects nearly one in three adults in the United States, with people of color being disproportionately represented within that population.
  • The negative effect of a criminal record is 40% greater for Black applicants than White applicants.
  • Promotion of 'Ban the Box' efforts and fair chance laws provide a chance for philanthropies to publicly align their business practices with their core values and mission.
  • Equal access and opportunities can be achieved by: adopting humanizing language to ensure a policy change is woven into the institution, mobilizing key stakeholders and making sure that changes are visible in order to encourage others to do the same, advocating for actively inclusionary practices rather than simply eliminating exclusionary ones, hiring at all levels of responsibility rather than just part-time or entry level positions, delaying and/or eliminating inquiries into conviction history and providing notice and an opportunity to respond to background checks if they present 'disqualifying' information, and creating systems to monitor and evaluate the progress foundations are making toward adopting 'ban the box' initiatives.