One of the leading issues within the nonprofit sector is board diversity. Boards are often composed of people from the same socioeconomic status, the same gender, race, and overall, the same demographic. Why do you think this is, and what steps can a board of directors take to change this?

In its results, Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, shared that 72% of nonprofit CEO/Executive Director positions are held by females, while only 48% of females are Executive Board Members and 42% are Board Chairs. An article I wrote, Nonprofit Board Membership and the Gender Gap, published in Tripodos, takes a look at the processes that may explain these results and how to change the outcome.

Here are some findings...

When organizations are first created, the board of directors often consist of the founder and their friends or colleagues who share enthusiasm for the organization’s mission. Often the members resemble each other as they are in the founder’s circle of contemporaries. Though the members are supportive of the founder and the cause, they may not have the necessary expertise needed as the organization grows. It is at this pivotal time of growth when a board has the opportunity to change its composition.

Read the full article about diversifying nonprofit boards by Cathryn Cushner Edelstein at Charity Navigator.