Minorities Still Underrepresented on Foundation Staff, CEOs, Boards

Minorities Still Underrepresented on Foundation Staff, CEOs, Boards

Racial and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented among foundation staff, executives, and board members, an annual survey by the Council on Foundations finds.

Based on a survey of nearly a thousand grantmakers, the 2015 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report found that minorities comprised 24 percent of full-time foundation staff, 8 percent of CEOs, and 16 percent of board members. The survey also found that the median salary of foundation CEOs, program officers, and full-time staff in 2015 were $166,000, $85,000, and $76,905, respectively, while 40 percent of CEOs had been in their current positions for at least ten years.

Age and gender gaps in staffing demographics were also identified by the survey, which found that 59 percent of foundation CEOs and 37 percent of full-time staff were between the ages of 50 and 64, while only 11 percent were under the age of 30. And while 46 percent of full-time employees were between the ages of 30 and 49, the report found they lack a clear path to leadership, with only 25 percent of the CEOs tracked in the survey having been promoted from within their organizations. Overall, women comprised 88 percent of administrative staff, 77 percent of program officers, 57 percent of chief executives, and 41 percent of board members, although fewer than half of the CEOs of the largest foundations were women.

"[T]his benchmark data provides us with compelling information about ongoing challenges philanthropy faces, especially in addressing our diversity, equity, and inclusion shortcomings," said Council on Foundations president and CEO Vikki Spruill. "This publication makes the internal workings of foundations and corporate giving programs more accessible, and we hope that this transparency will inform important discussions about the future of foundations and the field more broadly."

"New Report on U.S. Foundations' Salary and Benefits." Council on Foundations Press Release 05/24/2016. Vikki Spruill. "Lessons for Investing in Philanthropy's Talent from The 2015 Grantmakers Salary & Benefits Report." LinkedIn Blog Post 05/24/2016.