We’ve been talking about diversity for a long time. Yet nonprofit leadership isn’t very diverse.
It’s time to get it right. Diversify your organization.
I’d like to think that nonprofits would be ahead of the curve on this issue but studies show otherwise.
…42 percent of the organizations we surveyed are led by female executive directors, 87 percent of all executive directors or presidents were white, and there was only minimal representation of African Americans (6 percent), Asian Americans (3 percent), and Hispanics (4 percent) in those positions.
Our findings, The State of Diversity in Nonprofit and Foundation Leadership, are similar to those presented in a number of recent studies. A 2015 study by Community Wealth Partners, for example, found that only 8 percent of nonprofit executive directors were people of color, while a 2013 study conducted by D5found that 92 percent of foundation executive directors were white. Philanthropy News Digest, The Diversity Gap in the Nonprofit Sector, Susan Medina June 14, 2017
What you can do now
- Surround yourself with the widest range of ages, genders, races and life experiences. Visionary leadership calls for a broad perspective.
- Nonprofits are often top-heavy. There’s the Director (or CEO or Founder) and there’s everybody else. Instead, create a culture of shared leadership. Offer opportunities and encourage others to take the lead on projects.
- Be clear about the vision and values of your organization. Recruit and nurture people who share them. When a shared vision is the motivating factor in recruitment your organization will diversify naturally.
Diversify your organization. It’s not just about reporting numbers. Diversity will enhance the impact of your organization while it strengthens your leadership skills.