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How to Build a Diverse Nonprofit Staff

Most nonprofits understand the importance of building a diverse staff, but few have realized their goals. People of color held less than 10 percent of CEO and trustee positions in 2017, according to a report by Boardsource, a research and support organization for charity boards.

The figure has changed little since the organization conducted its first survey of nonprofit leaders in 1994.

How can your charity forge a path toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion?

To succeed at these efforts, you’ll need to get staff members throughout your organization invested — especially those at the top. “Senior leadership has to buy into the process and drive the process,” says Luisa Boyarski, assistant director for Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, “because then you get money on the budget sheet” to pay for training on diversity.

But money isn’t the only way to bring about progress, says Boyarksi, who wrote a report called “Advancing Racial Equity Within Nonprofit Organizations.” For example, some charities are focusing on recruiting a wider variety of interns, rather than just those who can work for low pay. Other groups are getting younger employees more involved in decision making to boost inclusion.

Here’s a collection of articles, tools, and case studies that will help your organization take concrete steps to improve diversity and reap the benefits.