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Green 2.0 Diversity Data Reveals Slight Progress with Staff of Color at NGOs while Foundations Disproportionately Fund White-Led Groups

November 17, 2021

Green 2.0 Team

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Contact: Raviya Ismail,

Green 2.0 Diversity Data Reveals Slight Progress with Staff of Color at NGOs while Foundations Disproportionately Fund White-Led Groups

Washington, D.C. — Today Green 2.0 released new diversity and inclusion data from environmental NGOs and foundations, indicating slight progress with staff of color represented at NGOs while foundations are disproportionately funding more white-led organizations than groups led by people of color.

The fifth annual Green 2.0 NGO & Foundation Transparency Report Card underwent several updates to the survey, resulting in findings that are the most comprehensive since its inception. These changes include a first-ever look at the demographics of executive directors and CEOs of NGOs, data on the retention rates of staff of color and white staff at NGOs, diversity and inclusion policies at organizations, and information on where foundations are directing their funding.

“Every year we want to make sure that NGOs and foundations that are pledging to prioritize diversity and inclusion are holding true to those promises. It is not enough to tout diversity with no follow through in this day and age when organizations are reckoning with their failure to support staff of color,” said Green 2.0 Executive Director Andrés Jimenez. “We are pleased with the upward trend of people of color in NGO staff positions, but we have to work together to push past the 30 percent threshold. The only way these patterns of disparity at both NGOs and foundations will change is for more transparency in the sector.”   

“The latest data is the most in-depth we have ever seen and an important temperature check to determine if people of color are in work environments where they can thrive,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, and a board member of Green 2.0. “What we’ve found is that we have much work to do to close gaps, particularly to ensure foundations are investing in communities that are historically excluded and to encourage more NGOs to elevate people of color to decision-making roles.”

“It’s important for NGOs to participate in the report card because, while numbers are just a part of the story, the makeup of our staff, senior staff, and board matters,” said Johanna Chao Kreilick, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “What’s become a shared adage is that people of color shouldn’t just be invited to the table, but should be on the team convening the table and making decisions. This is essential and humbling work and we need to keep questioning ourselves, looking internally and listening with open hearts and minds until we get it right.”

To view the 2021 Transparency Report Card click here.

Green 2.0 is a 501(c)3 independent campaign working to increase racial and ethnic diversity among environmental organizations. Green 2.0 believes in a powerful, winning environmental movement grounded in equity and inclusion. Follow Green 2.0. on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.