Study: Nonprofit Boards Lack Diversity; Few Are Acting on It
The Governance Gap survey of 102 nonprofits, conducted by the national search firm of Koya Leadership, found that fewer than 50% of survey respondents reported any action at all in relation to increasing diversity representation on their boards.
"Nonprofits that are not diverse and inclusive are not unlocking their full potential. Nonprofits that arent diverse at both the staff and board levels are likely missing opportunities to better understand and meet the needs of increasingly diverse clients and stakeholders."
Survey respondents who said diversifying their board/executive committee is a key objective believe that doing so will support a number of objectives, including better reflecting the community/communities they serve, increasing creativity and problem solving, and enhancing the organization's reputation.
However, those sentiments are not reflected in current board composition: Only 24% of the board members participating in the survey self-identified as people of color, which is high compared to national data.
BoardSources most recent survey reports that 84% of board members were white and 27% of boards lack a single member of color, Koya reported, noting, "The BoardSource survey found that while 63% of organizations say diversity is a core value, the percentaage of people of color on nonprofit boards has not changed in 18 years."
People of color are currently 36% of the US population and are expected to grow to 50% as early as 2042.
The survey found that less than half of respondent's organizations engage in any diversity recruiting strategies at all.
Lack of access to qualified board/executive committee candidates was cited by 51% of survey respondents as an obstacle to recruiting diverse members. Ten percent said their board/executive committee is not actively seeking to recruit diversity.