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The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap: Flipping the Lens

Building Movement Project’s just-released leadership report, “Race to Lead: Confronting the Racial Leadership Gap,” which you can download here, highlights what many of us know: The nonprofit sector is experiencing a racial leadership gap. As the U.S. becomes increasingly diverse, the percentage of people of color in executive director/CEO roles has remained under 20 percent for the last 15 years.

The Diversity Gap in the Nonprofit Sector

The lack of diversity at the highest levels of the country's corporations has become a popular topic of debate, thanks in part to a number of high-profile stories focused on the technology industry. If there has been less criticism of the nonprofit and foundation sectors, neither is exempt from the problem. Earlier this year, Battalia Winston analyzed the leadership teams of the largest foundations and nonprofits in the United States and found that they, too, suffer from homogeneity.

With ‘giving circles,’ a sum that is far greater than the parts

Each month, the national Dining for Women organization awards a single grant, from $35,000 to $50,000, to a nonprofit group. Additionally, 10 times a year, it identifies a single nonprofit group it has previously funded. That grantee gets $20,000 a year for three years to help with continued work. April marked the first time Dining for Women has raised money for the Chicuchas Wasi School. DFW used online materials and videos to promote the school’s mission with potential donors. 

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