Why Nonprofits Need Diversity
One of nonprofit organizations’ most significant issues is the need for more diversity on their boards. This is because it affects the perceptions of their organization’s fairness and equality image among the communities they serve. Absent diversity on the boards can create a disconnect and mistrust between the communities they serve.
The need for more diversity in leadership positions is a persistent issue that needs to be discussed and improved.
The sixth edition of Deloitte’s Missing Pieces Report, which analyzes the number of minorities and women on the boards of Fortune 500 companies, was released.
Despite the progress made in increasing the number of women and minorities on corporate boards, achieving full equality in the representation of these groups in the US remains very challenging. This is why organizations must prioritize the creation of more diverse boards.
The concept of the cloning effect refers to the practice of recruiting new board members by inviting them from their immediate circle of influence. This can create a homogenous board that doesn’t reflect the communities they serve.
People may be unable to attend events and meetings because of travel and time constraints. Over-commitment can also prevent them from engaging in board meetings.
The need for clarity regarding the organization’s values and diversity is a common issue that boards encounter.
A high turnover rate can also be a problem for boards. Finding skilled individuals who are interested in serving can be challenging.
The confusion regarding the term diversity also affects the operations of nonprofit boards. While the term can refer to people and groups, it doesn’t necessarily mean the difference between race, religion, or color. It can encompass various factors such as age, education, sexual orientation, marital status, and geographical location.
The characteristics that make people unique are known as diversity. Nonprofit organizations are known for their efforts in serving and uplifting diverse communities. Therefore, boards should look for leaders representing the communities they serve.
The increasing number of minorities in the US is expected to continue to affect the country’s demographics. According to the Census Bureau, by 2044, minorities will become the majority of the country’s population. The rise of Gen Z also brings about the formation of more diverse workplaces.
If boards do not address the issue of diversity, a disconnect between the communities the organizations are serving may occur, resulting in a lack of funding, limited networks, and difficulty in coming up with new ideas. The lack of diversity may also lead to a group-think mentality and conformity biases, which can prevent the organizations from making the correct decisions.
Having diverse board members can help strengthen an organization’s credibility and connection with its constituents. It can also help raise funds and distribute grants more effectively.
This blog was previously published on January 4, 2023, at MuhammadBabangida.org