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Philanthropy’s leadership is critical to progress on diversity, yet foundation CEOs and boards do not reflect the nation’s diversity regarding race and ethnicity, gender, LGBT communities, and people with disabilities.

While data show that foundation program officers are more diverse than ever, these trends are not reflected in CEOs, executive staff and board leadership. D5 is working to catalyze changes in foundation decision-making that result in greater inclusiveness and diversity among new leadership appointments.

Our priority:

Create more inclusive CEO and trustee leadership by providing peer-to-peer dialogue, compelling stories, relationship building with diverse communities, and specific examples of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Pipeline Programs Directory

D5 recently completed an inventory of existing leadership programs across the country that serve to prepare or enhance the careers of diverse individuals in philanthropy. Programs surveyed included those that specifically target the philanthropic sector as well as other programs that have direct relevance for the sector.

D5’s work builds off earlier research conducted by the Council of Foundations as it developed its Career Pathways program several years ago. The resulting directory, serves as a resource to those who are working to advance D5’s Leaders goal.

Philanthropic Paths: An Exploratory Study of the Career Pathways of Professionals of Color in Philanthropy

This study conducted by Forward Change provides a holistic, in-depth picture of the career experiences of 43 philanthropic professionals of color ranging from Program Officers to CEOs working in a diverse array of foundations. The study surfaced a set of potentially common points of entry, career pathways and obstacles of professionals of color in philanthropy, as well as the factors that helped shape those pathways.

Senior Leadership Recruitment

D5 is working with an advisory group of foundation human resource executives and search firm professionals to develop a strategy to increase the demand for diverse leaders in philanthropy. Research conducted by the Council on Foundations, D5, and others indicates that common foundation practices and tendencies are significant barriers to increasing the number of diverse CEOs. These include hiring CEOs from the outside, strongly favoring those with “executive experience,” risk aversion, and unintentional bias. D5’s work in this area will focus on helping the field overcome these obstacles to a diverse leadership and create organizational cultures that are welcoming and inclusive.

See our work: