Collective Equity: A Handbook for Designing and Evaluating Grant-Funded Positions

Download Collective Equity: A Handbook for Designing and Evaluating Grant-Funded Positions as a PDF.


In 2018-2020, the Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Collective Responsibility project (LG-73-18-0236-18) designed and led two meetings bringing together contingent workers, funder representatives, and LAM management to create guidelines and best practices for grant-funded positions. Its outcomes include the white paper Collective Responsibility: Seeking Equity for Contingent Labor in Libraries, Archives, and Museums and this handbook intended to shape the language and practice around the development and review of positions created through grant funding. We anticipate expanding these outcomes into a broader toolkit which gathers additional resources developed by the community.

The white paper describes our methodology for centering contingent worker experiences, shares the results of our survey on the experience of contingent laborers in positions created through grant-funding, delves into themes and responsibilities which arose from the forum, and develops outcomes and next steps for the work of the Collective Responsibility project. Building from the white paper and conversations at the second forum, the initial two documents in the handbook are concrete recommendations for changed practice.


The handbook contains the following:

Evaluating Project Design for Worker Equity, a one-page document intended for use by those who want to support better positions in the field but are unsure how to thoroughly review and provide feedback on position design. It is intended as a tool to empower both grant reviewers and those designing project positions. It includes questions to ask, resources for evaluation, and the principles which shape the evaluation. Although focused on positions created through grant-funding, it can be used to review any contingent, term position.

Recommendations to Funders: Promoting Equitable Approaches to Project Staff Design provides granting organizations with concrete application guidelines and recommended language that signal the critical importance of equitable and supportive labor conditions for contingent workers in grant projects. The document addresses each section of a conventional grant application and recommends where appropriate language should be used.

Related Documents, a bibliography of recommendations, bills of rights, and guidelines for better labor practices in libraries, archives, museums, and academia.