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Highlighting nonprofits that put equity into practice

A man who is looking at an iPad; an outline of a survey is behind him.

Nonprofits that put equity into practice and donors that value the work of organizations that demonstrate their commitment to equity have a new opportunity to connect. How? Through Charity Navigator’s newly-released Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) ratings. These ratings, powered by nonprofit profile data provided voluntarily to Candid, assess where organizations are in their journey to prioritizing equity in their operations and pursuit of their missions.  

How does it work?  

In 2019, Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center to advance the field’s knowledge by asking nonprofits about specific practices that build a culture of racial equity and inclusion within their organization. This information is collected alongside staff and board demographic data via nonprofit profiles. Over 14,000 organizations have participated since the Equity Strategies section launched in 2019. Among the 14 practices developed by Equity in the Center and included in this Candid section are, “We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race” and “We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.”  

What’s new is that the information shared in the Equity Strategies section of a nonprofit’s Demographic Profile on Candid is now used as part of determining an organization’s DEI score. These preliminary DEI scores give credit to organizations that have affirmed they are engaged in these equity strategies. Along with Constituent Feedback, DEI is a component of the Culture & Community Beacon in Charity Navigator’s expanded Encompass Rating System. Over time, the metrics that infom the DEI score  will grow to include practices that promote equity for a wider range of underrepresented  groups (by gender, age, sexual identity, disability, etc.) in the assessment of a nonprofit’s policies and practices. 

Why does it matter?  

By shining a light on organizations that create equitable workplaces and programs for their colleagues and constituents, Charity Navigator and Candid aim to support the uptake of these practices by organizations that are further along, or early on, in their equity journey. These practices have great potential to help nonprofits improve their organizational cultures and meet their objectives in a sustainable way. 

We hope that this exposure will help interested donors contribute to nonprofits that express their commitment to equity through concrete actions and practices, garnering more donations for those organizations. Our collaboration can also help donors more easily discover often overlooked nonprofits that are founded and led by people of color and leaders from other underrepresented groups     

What can you do?  

Stay engaged as we continue this collaboration in a few ways:  

  • Stay tuned  for upcoming opportunities—listening sessions, webinars, and surveys—hosted by Charity Navigator to lend your voice to the discussion about what knowledge and resources nonprofits need to enhance their equity practices.   
  • Encourage your nonprofit, or the charities you support, to put equity into practice and share equity practices via Candid’s nonprofit profile—specifically by completing the “Equity Strategies” checklist in the Demographics Section. Start here if your organization has not yet claimed its Candid profile.  
  • Find out more about Charity Navigator’s DEI scoring efforts on the Culture & Community methodology page.

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