The Council on Foundations (COF) recently released the 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The sample includes 910 total foundations of which 544 are COF members. As Rick Cohen notes on his piece about the survey, the survey suffers from the limitations of self-reporting, as do most all of our sector’s data. That said, there are some important trends in the makeup of foundation demographics and compensation that are worth noting:
Foundations seem to reflect the some of the changing demographics of our society. Here are some key facts:
Some races are reflected proportionate to their share of the U.S. population while others lag behind significantly. Moreover, the positions held by non-white foundation staff reflect some disparities: only 9.2 percent of CEOs are people of color while a disproportionate number of accountants, computer and IT professionals and human resources professionals appear to be people of color.
Foundation boards remain largely homogenous, with only 6 percent of trustees being between the ages of 30 and 39. They remain disproportionately male with women accounting for only 38 percent of trustees. And racially, they are mostly white with fully 85 percent of trustees being non-Hispanic whites and only seven percent being African American, four percent Latino, two percent Asian/Pacific Islander and one percent American Indian.
Should foundations reflect exactly the demographic profile of our country? Not necessarily, but the lack of diversity and persistent homogeneity run counter to data that support diversity and dissent as directly associated with effectiveness and better decision-making. Especially at the trustee level, this is incredibly important if a foundation wants to make sound decisions about its grant allocations.
Niki Jagpal is research and policy director at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). This article is also posted at NCRP’s blog, keeping a close eye…