The Council’s report, The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic Sector, examines the demographics of the philanthropic sector, looking back over the last five and ten years, with a specific focus on the representation of women and people of color. The data has been sourced from the Council’s Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey, representing a rich set of data points from more than 1,000 grantmakers, including data on nearly ten 10,000 full-time paid professional and administrative positions.
Some of the key findings from this report:
- The datasets examined by the report culminate with the results from the 2015 Grantmaker and Benefits Survey. The 2016 survey results, while not included among the data points for this report, show very similar results from the 2015 survey.
- Although women represented 77 percent of professional positions in 2015, there remain potential obstacles to leadership, with women compromising only 60 percent of executive leadership (a 17-percentage point difference).
- Retention among the staff of survey respondents seems high. The median tenure of CEOs for all grantmaker types was eight years. In addition, nearly 50% of the survey respondents in 2015 reported no attrition among the staff in the prior year.
This latter point has implications on the ability for new talent to enter for the field of philanthropy and for the sector to truly move the needle with regard to the demographics of the field.
This report raises a number of important questions about why there hasn’t been more change in the diversity of our institutions in recent years, despite the steps taken to create a more diverse and inclusive philanthropic sector. The report also includes a discussion guide designed to facilitate dialogues between foundation leaders, their board members and their staff.