By: Avi Mayerhoff
DEI has topped the corporate purpose agenda for the last 18 months as stakeholders are increasingly holding companies accountable for their policies and actions. It’s not just large companies either. Issues of race, gender, sexuality and disability are getting the attention of businesses of all sizes. They’re putting significant time, money and resources toward improving their DEI practices and community presence. Nonprofits with longstanding programs focused on equity have a unique opportunity to partner with companies. Partnerships can not only help companies avoid common mistakes and connect companies to the communities most underserved, but they can also help nonprofits extend their own DEI resources with further support.
Take a look at the three key DEI trends we uncovered in compiling our annual Social Impact Stats compendium of research, that can help make the case for DEI centered partnerships.
Diversity, equity and inclusion is a top priority for corporate partners
While some nonprofit organizations have focused on DEI for decades, it’s relatively new territory for companies as they look to take authentic steps with next-level impact and sustainability. They’re making the commitment but need nonprofit cause professionals’ expertise for progress to stick.
- 64% of CSR professionals reported racial justice as a new long-term priority.
- According to human resource leaders, fostering an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion ranked No. 4 in top priorities of organizations in 2021. (It was No. 8 in 2020).
- 76% of executives acknowledge the role of business in perpetuating systemic racial inequality.
Companies are elevating DEI funding
Companies are putting more dollars behind their commitment and will look to nonprofit social impact partnerships to help them allocate it effectively. Existing programs will be reviewed for DEI principles, and wholly new opportunities will be explored.
- 73% of companies’ DEI budgets will increase and 83% of companies stated that antiracism actions reinforced their corporate purpose.
- 62% of CSR leaders added a racial equity lens to existing funding initiatives.
- Companies donated or pledged about $8.2 billion of the $12 billion in total contributions that were earmarked for racial equity.
- 60% of consumers want the post-COVID recovery to prioritize restructuring our economy to deal with inequality and climate change rather than just getting back to normal as soon as possible.
You’ll find more data points on DEI funding in Social Impact Stats 2021.
DEI jobs and resources are increasing
In addition to funding DEI initiatives, companies large and small are creating jobs for DEI professionals at the same time as they are expanding their external partnerships for DEI expertise.
- As of November 30, 2020, job openings for D&I executive and leadership roles (such as “Chief Diversity Officer,” “Head of Diversity & Inclusion” and “Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion”) have more than doubled since June 8, 2020, increasing 2.6 times.
- 74% of companies sampled reported that resources to improve DEI efforts were on the rise.
- There has also been a shift in the types of companies looking for DEI leaders. “Traditionally, they were very large employers, but now we’re seeing companies with fewer than 500 employees hiring their first DE&I leader,” says Nicole Ferrer, managing director of Diversity Recruiters.
To learn more about DEI trends, download Social Impact Stats 2021 and let us know what you think. We’re always here to help you make data-backed decisions as you evolve your campaigns and partnerships.