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    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Nonprofit Boards

    For nonprofit organizations, it starts at the top.

    Racial injustice and systemic inequality stands at the forefront of our collective thoughts, where in the midst of COVID-19, underserved communities are most closely at-risk. Now is the time to self-analyze and reflect, to find those spaces where equality can be enhanced and systemically perpetuated. No action is too small to matter or too large to fathom, and for the world of nonprofit organizations, it starts at the top.


    CariClub, a company that connects young professionals to nonprofit governing and associate boards, has recently launched a survey, “Accessing Diverse Board Candidates,” to gauge recruitment efforts surrounding diversity across nonprofit board positions. Early results have found that 95% of our nonprofit partners are actively recruiting to diversify their governing and associate boards. The intention is palpable, but many of these organizations are experiencing the challenge of sustaining a pipeline of qualified and diverse board members. As per the CariClub survey, 93% of our nonprofit partners have not identified the right recruitment channels for attracting diverse candidates. This knowledge gap is telling. It illustrates an impetuous search for highly qualified candidates, from which a vast range is presently available.


    In the case of Black and Hispanic communities, which constitute a significant portion of the underserved demographic, the survey shows that board representation does not always reflect the racial make-up of target populations. In fact, 51% of nonprofits that responded to our survey disagree that their board reflects the community they serve. In addition, 88% of these same nonprofits claimed Black and Hispanic backgrounds are underrepresented on their governing and associate boards. These results champion a further commitment to change, a change that will reverberate across your entire organization. 


    In fact, 81% of our network nonprofits noted they were willing to expand the size of their governing board to increase diverse representation, despite the unpredictable outcomes spurred by the social justice movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to both diversity and inclusion, nonprofits are unmistakably inclined to pioneer a new era of leadership and representation. Such is the power of the current societal movement towards greater social and racial equality. 


    CariClub’s survey, “Accessing Diverse Board Candidates,” is meant to provide useful insights for the nonprofit sector to aid in a transformative form of progress. More importantly, this set of feedback data will inform CariClub as to how to best support nonprofits looking to vastly change their Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives. All input is valuable, and all nonprofits are encouraged to participate. The survey can be found here.               


    This article was written by CariClub Marketing and Impact Summer Intern Ignacio Gutierrez