Nonprofit Diversity Efforts: Current Practices and the Role of Foundations

A new research report out today from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), titled Nonprofit Diversity Efforts: Current Practices and the Role of Foundations, shares nonprofit leaders’ views on their diversity pursuits — and how their foundation funders are interacting with or supporting them in this area.

Based on survey responses from 205 nonprofit leaders, the report shares data on topics such as how diversity relates to the work of nonprofits, how foundations are involved in the diversity efforts of grantees, and what demographic information nonprofits and funders alike are collecting — and how that information is used.

What did we find? Among the data points in the report, we learned that:

  • Seventy percent of nonprofit CEOs believe it is very or extremely important for their organization’s staff to be diverse, but only 36 percent believe their staff are actually very or extremely diverse.
  • Forty-two percent of nonprofit CEOs report that their organization’s foundation funders have not discussed diversity issues with them.
  • Of the nonprofit CEOs whose foundation funders request demographic information, only 21 percent report that those funders explain how they use the demographic information they collect.

This research was made possible by funding from the Rita Allen Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.