While New York City foundations and the nonprofit organizations they support have racially diverse staffs, that diversity decreases at higher levels of seniority, a new report by and the finds.
The first study to examine the diversity of both New York City foundations and the organizations they serve looked at 95 grantmaking foundations and 540 nonprofits in the city's five boroughs. The report, (37 pages, PDF), found that while 48 percent of foundation administrative staff members and 43 percent of program officers are people of color, that is the case for only 16 percent of CEOs and 18 percent of board members. Looking at nonprofits, more than half their managerial and support staff are people of color, while that is true for only 30 percent of CEOs and 33 percent of board members.
The report also found that half the surveyed foundations said they "always" or "sometimes" ask grantseekers to provide information about the racial and ethnic composition of the populations they serve, and that foundations with at least a quarter of their boards comprised of people of color are more likely to have racially and ethnically diverse staffs, diversity hiring and grantmaking policies in place, and grantmaking activities that specifically target populations of color.
On the nonprofit side, more than a third of organizations identifying themselves as "minority-led" do not have a chief executive who is a person of color but identify themselves as such because they are led by women, immigrants, LGBT individuals, or people with disabilities. And two-thirds of the nonprofits surveyed "always" or "sometimes" gather demographic data on the populations they serve.
"Benchmarking Diversity fills an important information gap regarding current diversity practices of foundations and nonprofit organizations," said Larry McGill, senior vice president for research at the Foundation Center and author of the report. "It provides New York City foundations and nonprofits with solid baseline data that will help to inform their decision-making in the future."