Monthly Archives: August 2009

Do Staff Demographics Mirror Funded Programs?

The Foundation Center, in collaboration with Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers, has released a new report, Building Diversity: A Survey of California Foundation Demographics, Policies and Practices, the second in a series of follow up reports to Embracing Diversity: Foundation Giving Benefiting California’s Communities of Color.

As communities become more diverse, foundations face a growing need to assess the continuing relevance of their programmatic objectives. How are foundations identifying and addressing the emerging challenges associated with increasing diversity? While the focus of the research is California, this effort is viewed as a pilot project of a larger national initiative on this topic.

Analyzing 90 staffed independent California foundations and 25 Community Foundations, this study reports on the demographic composition of their boards and staffs and the diversity-related data collection and grantmaking in which they are involved.

The study shows that people of color make up 14 percent of board members, 14 percent of chief executives, 24 percent of executive level staff, and 45 percent of administrative and support staff at the independent California foundations surveyed. White women make up 41 percent of staff, followed by women of color (28 percent), white men (18 percent), and men of color (13 percent).

Twenty-five percent of staffed independent foundations have policies regarding staff diversity. Seventeen percent of all independent foundations surveyed have policies regarding board diversity. Meanwhile, 13 percent have policies regarding grantmaking the serves people of color and 8 percent have similar policies regarding organizations led by people of color.

The community foundations surveyed yielded similar results, though they were more likely to have policies regarding board diversity. To read the full report as a PDF, click here.