Giving Compass' Take:

• Nonprofit Quarterly reports on a recent panel of nonprofit leaders, who discussed why the sector still lacks diversity, inclusivity and equity among boards.

• One conclusion reached is that framing diversity as both a priority and a strategy for organizational effectiveness may help break through some roadblocks. But it will still be challenging to summon the collective will.

Here's why just one board member with a different perspective can provide much-needed checks and balances.

According to BoardSource research, the diversity of boards today has not increased over the past two years and seems unlikely to change anytime soon based on current recruitment practices. These findings are extremely disheartening given the increased attention that diversity, inclusion, and equity have received over the past few years. A panel of nonprofit scholars and professionals convened at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) conference on November 16, 2018, to consider why nonprofit governance is still struggling with these issues. Panel members included Jasmine McGinnis Johnson (George Washington University), Chris Fredette (University of Windsor), Kenneth Anderson Taylor (Texas A & M), Nancy Lee (BoardSource), and Ruth McCambridge (Nonprofit Quarterly).

The panel was moderated by Ruth Bernstein (University of Washington, Tacoma) and Kelly LeRoux (University of Illinois at Chicago), who framed the discussion around three questions: what do you see as the three biggest issues that need to be addressed to increase diversity, why is this problem persisting, and what should be done?

Fredette framed this lack of progress as a larger societal issue that affects organizations of all types. For example, he pointed out that Google has spent millions of dollars to increase diversity and inclusion yet produced very limited results. What he sees as the essential issue that must first be recognized is the need to redefine ourselves as a society. What does it mean to be in relationship with each other? How we can reconcile past wrongs of colonialization, given present realities? How can we create shared future aspirations?

Read the full article about why nonprofit boards still struggle with inclusivity and diversity by Dr. Elizabeth Castillo at