A report by the Grant Givers’ Movement, an association of people working in grant-giving, says a lack of diversity at trusts and foundations affects fundraising efforts of minority-led charities.
In a first of its kind workforce survey in the UK trust and foundation sector, over 130 grant-making staff gave their views on issues of diversity, inclusion and voice in UK grant-making.
It found that more than 95 instances of prejudice or discrimination in trusts and foundations were recorded within the survey, with 40% of respondents affected.
It reported that when asked ‘have you ever experienced or directly seen prejudice or discrimination in trusts and foundations based on age, gender, race, disability, sexual identity or any other protected characteristics?’ a total of 41 respondents (over 40% of respondents) said that they had seen or experienced prejudice or discrimination on more than one occasion.
In total, the group said at least 95 instances of prejudice or discrimination were reported from a pool of just 101 respondents. Only 28% said that they had never seen or experienced discrimination in the sector.
Grant Givers’ Movement also said 70% of survey respondents felt that trustee diversity levels “affect” which organisations get funded. The same number felt that way about staff diversity. Two-thirds felt that foundation trustee boards’ lack of racial diversity affected minority-led charities’ fundraising efforts, only 5% disagreed.
The Grant Givers’ Movement said the results show “there is a serious problem of bias against some charities”.
Overall it found two-thirds of respondents actively agreed that a lack of diversity affects the fundraising efforts of charities led by people from minority backgrounds. Only 5% disagreed with this fact.
However the report does warn that the research in the report should not be taken “too literally” due to its small sample size, but added that “the patterns are clear and the numbers are significant enough that they cannot be dismissed”.
As a response to the findings the organisation said it suggests a “convening” of charity and foundation leadership to discuss what specifically can be done to address the problem and said it would invite its membership to offer contributions.