Money & Business

Guidestar Launches New Nonprofit Diversity Tracker

By / Oct 20, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The nonprofit data firm is working to make diversity a key part of its database—with a little help from (you guessed it) nonprofits that hope to improve diversity within their ranks.

Diversity is becoming a bigger part of the discussion than ever these days, and that’s most definitely true for nonprofits.

Industry tracker Guidestar has big plans to be on top of the issue. Last week the organization announced that it was launching a new collaboration with the D5 Coalition to add new voluntary diversity metrics—including race, sexual orientation, gender, and disability status of employees—to the Guidestar Exchange.

“We believe that data about who’s leading, working in and with organizations is just as important as financial and operational data we already have,” Guidestar President and CEO Jacob Harold told The NonProfit Times.

D5 Coalition Director Kelly Brown, whose organization developed the standards the exchange will use, emphasized that the nonprofit space sorely needs this sort of information.

“For too long, a lack of reliable data has left foundations and nonprofits in the dark about the true impact of their work,” Brown said in a statement. “These voluntary standards for reporting data can help organizations measure progress toward the goals they set, evaluate their impact on the constituencies they serve and, at the end of the day, be more effective.”

More Eco-Diversity Wanted

The groups are working with Green 2.0, a nonprofit organization focused on boosting diversity in the environmental space.

Coinciding with the launch of the new diversity tracker, Green 2.0 released a report on what they call “The Green Insider’s Club,” which found that just 12.4 percent of environmental nongovernmental organization staffers and 12 percent of environmental foundation staffers surveyed were people of color—a level far below that of the U.S. population, which currently stands at 36 percent, according to the study. (Environmental government agencies did slightly better, at 15.5 percent.)

However, the report did find one positive development that suggests the potential for improvements in diversifying staffs.

“Across the three types of organizations studied, the number one diversity initiative is promoting women,” the report stated. “When environmental organizations commit the necessary resources, they show significant progress in increasing staff and leadership diversity.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »