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“Lifting Up Leaders: Building Capacity to Tackle Nonprofit Challenges” Hosted by BBB

We recently attended a panel “Lifting Up Leaders: Building Capacity to Tackle Nonprofit Challenges” hosted by the Better Business Bureau of Metro New York (BBB). There are many hurdles in the arena of nonprofit leadership development, that can be magnified for leaders of diversity in nonprofits. Frances Kunreuther, co-founder of the Building Movement Project shared survey results from their reports which explore why the percentage of people of color in nonprofit leadership has not moved in over a decade.

  • “Less than 20% of executive directors/CEOs of nonprofits are people of color"

  • “39% of leaders of POC feel they lack role models as opposed to 27% of white leaders”

  • “People of color were more likely to agree that POC-led organizations have a hard time fundraising (61% POC vs. 31% whites)”

  • "Women of color working in POC- or immigrant-identity-based organizations (36%) were more likely to report that their gender had negatively impacted their careers than those in non-identity-based organizations (28%)

  • "Women of color (41%) and men of color (46%) were less likely to have received on-the-job mentoring than white men (52%) and white women (49%)."

  • "In contrast, nearly two-thirds of women of color (63%) and men of color (61%) reported receiving outside mentoring (compared to 59% for white women and 60% for white men)."

Leading change is a daunting challenge and the reports provide some recommendations on how we can begin to rewrite the story and address the systemic barriers we face, such as implementing hiring and promotion policies/practices that address issues of implicit bias. See below for additional resources and reading material recommended by the panel.

Online Resources


Winners take all, Anand Giridharadas

Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, Adrienne Maree Brown

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, William Bridges

Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better, Rob Reich

Decolonizing Wealth, Edgar Villanova

Do you have any resources and readings that you recommend? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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