Candid began collecting demographic data from nonprofit organizations in July 2019, encouraging them to share information on their leadership, staff, and board members on their nonprofit profiles. In February 2023, Candid launched Demographics via Candid, an initiative to empower nonprofits to share their demographic data just one time through their profiles, where it can be accessed and reused by funders and other stakeholders. With nearly 54,000 organizations sharing demographic data with Candid as of March 2023, Candid engaged Viewpoint Consulting to conduct research to better understand how it could improve its systems, services, and support for nonprofits.

Through a combination of survey responses from over 1,500 organizations and interviews with 16 nonprofit leaders, our study sought to answer key questions including: How were nonprofits collecting and sharing demographic data in general and with Candid nonprofit profiles specifically? What supports could help reduce the burden on nonprofits and increase engagement with this data via Candid?

Our research found that while many nonprofits wanted to be transparent about the demographic makeup of their leadership, staff, and board, they struggled to dedicate the capacity to do so effectively.

More than two-thirds (72%) of respondents said they provided demographic data to at least one funder or other entity (including Candid) in the past 12 months. The most cited motivation to share this data in their profiles was to secure the “legitimacy” of a Candid Seal of Transparency (70%), which they felt would increase their visibility and enhance their “public image” and, in turn, enhance their ability to raise funds.

Among organizations that did not share demographic data, 65% were unaware that this section of their profile was incomplete. Clearly, raising awareness of Demographics via Candid and the value of sharing this data is essential to increasing engagement. Among respondents who were aware that their profiles lacked demographic information, the primary reason cited was lack of time (31%), followed by data privacy, security, and legal concerns (28%); impact on public perception or future funding (19%); and lack of internal capabilities (knowledge or systems) to collect data (12%).

Read the full article about demographic data by Kelly Brown at Candid.