By Andrea Madu, Program Associate for Nonprofit Effectiveness and Jennifer Aronson, Associate VP for Programs
We believe that strong, representative, connected, diverse leaders are the key to social change. Through our Nonprofit Effectiveness strategy, we support leaders and organizations to accelerate social change, which includes a focus on advancing racial equity at the staff, leadership, and board levels. One of the ways we do this is through using our platform to support research, tools, and practices to address racial equity within the nonprofit sector. In October 2017, in partnership with the Barr Foundation and Building Movement Project, we hosted the Boston release of the groundbreaking Race to Lead report. The report, published by the Building Movement Project, dispelled common misperceptions about the skills and ambition of people of color (POC) leaders and identified structural and systemic barriers that nonprofit POC leaders face on the path to leadership. The forum included a thought-provoking discussion with a panel of nonprofit leaders who provided insights, challenges, and opportunities to advance racial equity within nonprofit leadership. In April 2018, the Building Movement Project joined us again to present Race to Lead: The Nonprofit Leadership Gap in Massachusetts, (funded by our partners at the Barr Foundation) which focused on the Massachusetts subset of the data and reconfirmed many of the trends and insights highlighted in the national Race to Lead Report.
The findings of these reports, while not surprising to many people of color and champions of racial equity, provided critical data to underlie the lived experience of many aspiring leaders of color who have faced discrimination, bias, frustration, and isolation on the path to leadership. The report has been a call to action for our work and has provided the needed evidence to build an explicit racial equity approach within our Nonprofit Effectiveness strategy.
This year, we’re excited to partner early with Building Movement Project on their 2019 Race to Lead Survey, which aims to provide a deeper dive into the experiences of nonprofit leadership and determine what is needed to advance racial leadership equity within our sector. If we are able to collect more than 250 responses from Massachusetts, we will be able to share even more robust data, because we will be able to work with the Building Movement Project team to create a Massachusetts-specific report that will explore issues of race and leadership on a local level, a report we will share widely. Please join us in participating and share with your networks!
The survey takes about 25 minutes to complete and the deadline to complete the survey is August 28th. Anyone who works for a nonprofit in the US, regardless of identity, can fill out the survey. If you have any questions about this survey effort, feel free to contact Building Movement Project’s Research Analyst, Tessa Constantine.