Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) in partnership with Data Driven Detroit (D3) and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, with support from CMF member Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, has released the results of a collaborative, first-of-its-kind report that highlights the nonprofit racial leadership gap across Michigan.
The Michigan Statewide Nonprofit Leadership Census identifies the percentage of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) nonprofit leaders statewide to provide a clear understanding of the racial and ethnic composition of staff members and boards at nonprofits statewide.
The report focused on six regions in Michigan: Lakeshore/West Michigan, Metro Detroit, Mid-State/Central Michigan, Southern Central Michigan, Tip of the Mitt and the Upper Peninsula.
The first phase of this project included The Detroit Nonprofit Leadership Census survey was conducted in February 2021. The survey’s results constitute the first-ever detailed dataset about the demographics of Detroit’s nonprofit leaders, board members and staff, as well as their connections with local funders.
The survey was then expanded in 2022 to collect data from nonprofits statewide and closed after capturing nearly 600 responses from nonprofits from every region and 89% of counties in Michigan.
Key findings from the report include:
- Metro Detroit reported the highest percentage of BIPOC-led organizations (38%), while Tip of the Mitt reported the lowest (1%).
- The budget range reported for most responding nonprofit organizations was concentrated in two groups: more than $50,000 but less than $250,000 or $1 million to less than $5 million.
- At the state level, the majority of nonprofits (93%) reported only one executive director who is more likely to be at least one of the following characteristics: White, female, aged 45-64 years old and one who has served in the leadership role for no more than five years.
- Black/African American is the next highest represented group with 17%, followed by Latino/a/x or Hispanic with 2.7%. In addition, 86 executive directors identified as Bi- or Multi- racial.
- Among respondents, executive directors are more likely to identify as women in nonprofit organizations. Sixty-four percent of the directors identified as women, which is almost twice the number of directors identifying as men (33%).
- Reporting at least one BIPOC executive director was associated with more organizations reporting multiple executive directors, younger directors, as well as a higher percentage of BIPOC members on its board and staff.
- Housing was determined to be a pressing equity issue in Michigan. Notably, BIPOC-led organizations are much more likely to choose race and ethnicity as one of their community’s most pressing equity issues.
MNA collaborated with D3 to administer the survey and the Johnson Center provided additional data support.
According to MNA, the findings challenge the way the nonprofit sector has approached the racial leadership gap. This report is an intentional effort to bring more attention to the challenges faced by diverse people as they strive to obtain leadership positions within Michigan’s nonprofit sector.
Read the full MNA press release.