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Philanthropy New York, Foundation Center Report Benchmarks Diversity at New York City Foundations and Nonprofits

Resource type: News

Philanthropy News Digest | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

While New York City foundations and the nonprofit organizations they support have racially diverse staffs, the diversity decreases at the highest levels of seniority, according to a new report by Philanthropy New York and the Foundation Center.

The first study to examine the diversity of both New York City foundations and the organizations they serve looked at the findings from 95 grantmaking foundations and 540 nonprofits in the city’s five boroughs. The report, Benchmarking Diversity: A First Look at New York City Foundations and Nonprofits (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 the nonprofits, more than half their managerial and support staff are people of color, while that is true for 30 percent of CEOs and 33 percent of board members.

The report also found that foundations with at least 25 percent people of color on their boards are more likely to have racially and ethnically diverse staffs, policies about diversity hiring and grantmaking, and specifically target populations of color through their grantmaking. 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.

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. 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.”

Philanthropy New York and Foundation Center Report Provides First Benchmark of Diversity at New York City Foundations and Nonprofits.” Foundation Center and Philanthropy New York Press Release 10/08/09.