The complexity of diversity and importance for equitable philanthropy

Lauren Azevedo, Tia Sherèe Gaynor, Kyra Shelby, Genesis Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The current U.S. climate of racial and social injustice has prompted a renewed call for diverse and equitable ways to rethink community philanthropy. Community foundations are vehicles for community philanthropy which offer vast benefits for social improvement and community development. The board of directors ensures these organizations fulfill their mission, making decisions on funding priorities and holding the organization functionally and fiscally responsible. Drawing on constructs of diversity and representative bureaucracy and a case study of Florida community foundations, we suggest that diversity is understood in different ways and the presence of diverse board members may be linked to advancing the interests of diverse communities and in achieving outcomes that assist in the needs of certain social groups. Increased understanding of diversity can improve foundation and philanthropic effectiveness and bring broader social change by promoting equity and social justice among community-based philanthropic organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-607
Number of pages13
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management


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