More than a third of the people of color reported that their race or ethnicity had negatively affected their career advancements, many sharing write-in responses describing disturbing cases of overt racism and discrimination. The study also found that people of color were less likely than whites to say they had the contacts and relationships needed to raise money.
The authors state their findings show that more training isn’t what’s needed, which puts the burden of fixing the problem on people who have already worked as hard as everyone else. Rather nonprofits must address cultural barriers for people of color around a race driven view of what leaders look like. People of color need professional connections and access to sources of funding.
Grantmakers can do more to support networking between people of color and organizations. Boards of nonprofits should create a process where they are presented viable candidates of diverse races.
Alyce Lee: There’s good news in the local nonprofit sector thanks to the board of the Community Foundation of North Florida who awarded $60,000 in capacity building grants to nine charities. Unlike most funding which is restricted to direct services, the Community Foundation took the bold step to invest in the operations of these organizations to strengthen them from within.
I agree with the Foundation, who said, “Operating dollars and support of internal workings are often the most needed yet toughest dollars for charities to obtain.” That’s why they chose to make these investments in infrastructure to help nonprofits, just like any business, invest in themselves to not just survive from year to year, but to thrive. Examples of how these funds will be used include strategic planning, technology improvements, board and staff education, grant writing training, and purchasing equipment and software.
Recipients are Alzheimer’s Project, Calhoun Liberty Community Outreach, Lee’s Place, LeMoyne Art Foundation, Refuge House, Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, Village Square, and the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation & Excellence.
Hats off to the Community Foundation for this future-focused funding that will help these nonprofits maximize their impact and achieve greater financial sustainability. I encourage funders and donors to recognize the value of this type of investment and include it as part of their grant making and personal giving.
Kelly Otte, MPA, is Executive Director of PACE Center for Girls Leon and Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE is President of Stansbury Consulting. Together they co-write and co-edit the column and love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.