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2021 NGO & Foundation Transparency Report Card

The Green 2.0 2021 NGO & Foundation Transparency Report Card reflects demographic data collected from 67 NGOs and a cadre of foundations in the environmental sector. This is the fifth year in a row this data has been collected by Green 2.0, a watchdog organization pushing for racial and ethnic diversity in the environmental movement.


For the fifth year in a row, Green 2.0—an independent 501(c)(3) campaign to increase racial and ethnic diversity within the environmental movement—presents data on diversity in staff from non-profit organizations (“NGOs”) and data on diversity in grantmaking from foundations.  The 2021 report card reflects data collected from NGOs on: a) the number of people of color (POC) on their full-time staff, boards, senior staff, and heads of organizations b) staff retention rates, and c) diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. The data on foundations was collected from a cadre of foundations and focuses on grantmaking and how funds are being directed toward communities of color.


2021 was the first year Green 2.0 requested that 80 NGOs provide their data (previously, 40 NGOs were asked to submit). Unfortunately, 19 of those organizations did not contribute, with 61 out of 80 invited NGOs participating. However, six NGOs opted-in to the report card this year, bringing the total number of NGOs represented in the data to 67. In 2021, there are also several new components of the NGO report card including a detailed breakdown of racial and ethnic demographics, data on heads of organizations, retention rates of staff, and data on diversity, equity, and inclusion practices of individual NGOs. 


Green 2.0 requested data from over 30 foundations and received data from 20. This year, with the changes in reporting and in an attempt to obtain more data, foundations were asked to submit their data anonymously. While more foundations submitted their data than in years before, transparency in this sector continues to be a priority for Green 2.0. 


Data in this report card reflects information submitted directly by NGOs and foundations for the period of January 1, 2020-December 31, 2020. The full report shows individual data for NGOs and aggregated data for foundations.

NGO Results

This year’s results show measurable increases in people of color on full-time staff, among senior staff, and on the board.

Full-tIme Staff

On average, reporting organizations added 12 people of color between 2017 and 2021.

Senior Staff

On average, reporting organizations added three people of color between 2017 and 2021.

Board Members

On average, reporting organizations added three people of color between 2017 and 2021.

Heads of Organizations

This is the first year Green 2.0 collected information about heads of organizations. 25.3% of heads of organizations are people of color, 73.1% are White, and 1.5% did not respond.

Foundation Results

Dr. Puritty examined the funding practices of surveyed foundations. The survey included questions on the demographic data of board members and senior staff of grantee organizations, and comparison data of funding practices to POC-led compared with White-led foundations. Only two foundations (29%) reported both demographic data of the boards and senior staff of their grantee organizations and their funding practices for White-led compared with POC-led organizations.


In 2021, reporting foundations funded White-led organizations at nearly double the rate of POC-led organizations. Given that this is the first year that Green 2.0 has gathered relevant foundation data, it is impossible to be certain whether this pattern, though an obvious disparity, represents an increase in funding toward POC-led organizations. What is certain is that even the foundations that collect this data are susceptible to huge funding inequities between White-led and POC-led organizations; it is therefore troubling that many foundations do not collect this data at all.