Predictors of Nonprofit Ethno-Racial Diversity: Examining Local Community Demographics and Political Ideology

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Although the practitioner and the academic literatures both note the importance of ethno-racial diversity in the nonprofit sector, we pursue a better understanding of this sector’s ethno-racial diversity dynamics by exploring the drivers of ethno-racial diversity at multiple organizational hierarchy levels—boards of directors, executive staff teams, and full-time staff. Using data from nonprofit organizations participating in Candid’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, we find evidence that upward mobility for ethno-racial minority group members remains limited. Our findings also indicate a positive relationship between ethno-racial diversity in a nonprofit’s local community and ethno-racial diversity at each organizational hierarchy level. This relationship is partially mediated by the political liberalness of the local community, with the strongest mediating effects at the board of directors and executive staff organizational levels. This partial mediation suggests that the local environment’s tolerance of societal hierarchies and unequal outcomes may be related to nonprofit organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly |  

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