We love BoardSource’s habit of optimizing the use of the data it collects in its biennial survey of board members and executives. Most recently, it collaborated with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI and Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates to produce a report—The Impact of Diversity: Understanding How Nonprofit Board Diversity Affects Philanthropy, Leadership, and Board Engagement—that examines what other organizational characteristics correlate to board diversity and what effects that diversity arguably has. As it turned out, little in the report was definitive, but the case studies, two of which are reproduced here as written in the report, provide guidance for the kinds of integrated strategies that can make a difference in individual nonprofits.
What Correlates with Increased Board Diversity?
Two correlates to racial and ethnic diversity stood out in the report’s findings—organizational age and budget. In short, the older the board and the higher the budget, the lower the levels of diversity.
Older organizations are also likely to have higher levels of board involvement in fundraising. In fact, the oldest organizations—especially those founded before 1900—had significantly higher percentages of board members who