Fast Forward is a social justice organization founded on the idea that those with proximity to the problem should have proximity to the power to fix them. Our true north is empowering tech nonprofit leaders with the tools, community, and capital they need to scale solutions for underserved groups, and we know that a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion is inextricable from that pursuit.
Below are our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Guidelines which outline how we approach diversity, equity, and inclusion across our investments, community, and workplace. Core to these guidelines is that we know we will get it wrong over and over again. But as an organization, we commit to doing our best to be a better ally to our entrepreneur community and the people they serve each and every day.
Fast Forward recognizes the power that comes with selecting nonprofits to fund and participate in our Accelerator and with influencing other sector funders. We are dedicated to applying a DEI lens to funding to ensure we lift up entrepreneurs doing the work to combat systems of oppression.
We invest in founders of color.
Communities of color in the US, particularly Black and brown communities, are systematically oppressed and most often experience the injustices that tech nonprofits seek to address. We believe that leaders who have lived the problems they seek to solve are best positioned – and most committed – to this work. We invest in founders of color and are proud to share that 72% of our alumni organizations have a founder who identifies as a person of color.
We invest in founders who are women.
In the for-profit tech sector, investments are overwhelmingly made in companies led by male founders. We recognize that this is not an accident – it’s a symptom of broader structural inequities. We invest in women leaders and are proud to share that 68% of our alumni organizations have a founder who is a woman and those who are non-binary.
We invest in solutions that serve marginalized people.
Fast Forward is focused on infusing capital, time, and expertise into innovative solutions that benefit our world’s most underserved. We are laser-focused on funneling resources – from human and financial capital to opportunities for visibility – into tech products that are designed to serve marginalized people.
We leverage our influence with other funders to direct funding to tech nonprofit founders.
Fast Forward advocates for the founders of color we serve within the broader philanthropic community by directing financial resources to them that bolster their work. We use our influence to recommend other investments into the sector, and advocate for compensation for the founders’ time and expertise.
Our focus is on creating connections across the tech nonprofit sector – from the social entrepreneurs to the companies, foundations, and individuals who fuel their work. Our goal is to foster a strong community that pushes the sector forward.
We listen to what the community needs and we do our best to implement recommendations.
As a sector convener, we listen to those with personal experience with the problems they’re addressing. We actively seek feedback from those we serve, and likewise focus our work on meeting the needs they express.
We elevate the voices of founders who are women and/or people of color.
We produce and share content that highlights founders who are women and people of color. We are steadfast in our commitment to spreading their messages far and wide.
We are committed to social justice in theory and in practice.
We are committed to social justice. We staunchly believe the biggest problems in the world must be addressed with great technology. And we believe those with proximity to the problem are best equipped to build the technology that will solve these problems. That’s why we invest in those with lived experience.
The work we do in the world is made possible by the people who do that work day in and day out. As such, Fast Forward is committed to fostering an equitable workplace where every team member belongs.
We listen to the views of Fast Forward employees and encourage our team to bring their whole selves to work.
We have open conversations about current events, activism, and social justice. Every employee at Fast Forward is encouraged to voice their opinions, and from that springs forth the stance Fast Forward takes about how to show up in the world. We hold each other accountable to living in accordance with Fast Forward’s core values.
We welcome ideas and input from every member of the team.
At Fast Forward, the best idea wins. From selecting the Accelerator cohort to deciding how we navigate a thorny organizational problem, employees at every level are involved in decision making. Employees are encouraged to propose – and run with – alternative solutions to those already in place if there’s a better approach. Preference is not given to employees with more seniority.
We are governed by a diverse group of leaders.
The Fast Forward board is made up of tech leaders who bring a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table.
We value self care.
As a social impact organization, our priority is the health and well being of our people. As such, employee benefits include great health care, unlimited PTO, and flexible schedules. We prioritize health over stress, with a belief that work must be compatible with all else that is going on in our lives.