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Giving Compass' Take:
• Writing for Social Velocity, Building Movement Project Co-Director Sean Thomas-Breitfeld discusses the importance of examining racial inequity in the nonprofit world and taking steps to make things better.
• What is the philanthropy world doing to invest in organizations led by people of color and that advocate for minorities? Fundraising has been an issue.
• Here are five mistakes mainstream foundations make when investing in under-represented communities.
Earlier this year, my organization analyzed data from our survey of over 4,000 nonprofit staff about the nonprofit racial leadership gap, paying special attention to the respondents from California. When we looked at the CEOs in our sample, we realized that half of the leaders of color were running organizations that they categorized as identity-based groups focused on communities of color, whereas two-thirds of white leaders didn’t categorize their organizations as identity-based groups at all. This data suggests that we have segregation in the nonprofit sector.
While we certainly need to take steps to diversify historically white nonprofit institutions, I also want to affirm the critical role of people of color identity-based organizations. As someone who worked most of my career in identity-based advocacy and organizing groups, I know that those organizations are great places to work, support the leadership development of staff of color, and make critical change in the communities most impacted by systemic and structural racism.
The problem is not that leaders of color work in identity-based organizations, the problem is that those organizations don’t get the same level of investment. Roughly three-quarters of CEOs of color in our sample agreed that organizations led by people of color have a harder time fundraising than similar organizations with white leaders, only a third of white leaders indicated that they were aware of this phenomenon. Separate but equal is not equal.
Read the full article about confronting complicity in racial inequity by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Co-Director of Building Movement Project, at Social Velocity.