Promoting Diversity in the Nonprofit Workplace


Dr. Margaret Ann Dimond is a clinical assistant professor at Michigan State University’s School of Social Work. She holds a PhD from Michigan State University and two master’s degrees: an MPA from the University of Michigan and an MSW from Boston College. Recently, Margaret Ann Dimond began teaching classes for nonprofit leaders with the aim of building an organizational culture that understands and embraces competence and diversity.

There is a surprising gap in minority representation in nonprofit workplaces in the United States. According to a recent study, well over three-quarters of nonprofit employees are white, while only 10 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic/Latino, 3 percent identify as Other, and 1 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander. Though a little less than 90 percent of employees think their organization values diversity, over 70 percent say their employer doesn’t do enough to promote it practically.

The consequences for nonprofits with this gap in representation in their communities may include the inability to attract and retain talented job candidates, decreased employee satisfaction, and damage to reputation as they struggle to apply their values. Often nonprofit leaders need help to learn how to build and sustain diversity in their organization. Seeking resources, including workshops, classes, and other forms of continuing education, can aid nonprofit leaders as they take practical strides to answer the call for inclusiveness in their communities.


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