41% of Americans Say They Would Stop Supporting a Charity That Tolerates Discrimination
Forty-one percent of Americans say they would not continue giving to a charity if they learned that it tolerates discrimination against the people it serves, and 34 percent would not give to charities that use culturally insensitive images and language, according to a new survey. Seventeen percent would stop giving to a charity if they learned that its board is not diverse.
The the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, which oversaw the survey, says the overall results show that donors see the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, Haydee Morales, executive director of Casita Maria
We’re sorry. Something went wrong.
We are unable to fully display the content of this page.
If you continue to experience issues, contact us at 202-466-1032 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Forty-one percent of Americans say they would not continue giving to a charity if they learned that it tolerates discrimination against the people it serves, and 34 percent would not give to charities that use culturally insensitive images and language, according to a new survey. Seventeen percent would stop giving to a charity if they learned that its board was not diverse.
The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, which oversaw the survey, says the overall results show that donors see the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, Haydee Morales, executive director of Casita Maria, a charity in the Bronx, N.Y., that serves Latinos, found many of the statistics troubling, especially the finding that less than half of Americans would withdraw support from an organization that tolerates discrimination.
“What about the other 59 percent? That one sticks out,” Morales said. “We need that 41 percent to grow significantly.”
Morales, whose nonprofit provides educational support, arts programs, and other services, said the survey also shows that donors have a ways to go in terms of seeing the value of organizations with diverse board members and staff. Fifty-three percent of Americans say charities with diverse, equitable, and inclusive boards and staffs make a difference in how well clients are served — a figure that Morales would like to see increase significantly.
“When everybody looks the same, there is no innovation,” Morales said.
Lack of Options
The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance surveyed 2,171 adults in the United States, including 1,879 who reported donating to charity, to explore whether donors value diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the charities they support. The electronic survey was conducted in December 2021. The report says the survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.
Art Taylor, CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, agreed that some of the findings of the survey were troubling. One reason many donors might continue giving to organizations that engage in discrimination is that they may have no other good options in terms of finding alternative organizations that meet the needs they’re trying to address.
Taylor said there are no firm plans yet to repeat the survey in future years to see if attitudes are changing, but he said that would be a worthwhile thing to explore. “What we all want to know is, are we moving forward as a society,” he said.
Elvia Castro, associate director of charity evaluation at Give.org and one of the authors of the report, added that the survey findings overall showed that many donors value diversity, equity, and inclusion “even if it’s not a primary, top-of-mind thing when they’re making that decision” on whether to give to a certain nonprofit.
The survey also found that 13 percent of Americans say a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a common problem for U.S. charities, compared with 23 percent for businesses and 28 percent for government.
- 54 percent of Americans said that charities with a diverse, equitable, and inclusive board and staff are more trustworthy.
- One-third said demographic information about people a charity serves is “very useful” when making giving decisions.
- Young people, people of color, LGBTQ+ participants, and people who identify as Muslim, Mormon, or Jewish were more likely than other groups to report hearing problems with diversity, equity, and inclusion at U.S. charities. People who gave to arts and culture or to educational or environmental charities also were more more likely than donors to other kinds of groups to report hearing problems about a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion at a specific charity.
- 51 percent of African Americans and 40 percent of Hispanics prefer to support charities serving needs affecting their racial or ethnic groups, compared with 34 percent of all donors who said so.