Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2022


Racial diversity in nonprofit leadership presents a variety of benefits crucial for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, leadership remains predominately white. Practitioner-oriented studies decry racial disparities in nonprofit funding, but academic literature offers mixed conclusions on how diversity influences resource acquisition. This article examines associations between racial composition of nonprofit leadership and organizational resilience to the pandemic, based on a survey of New Orleans-based nonprofits in winter 2021. Logistic regressions assess whether leadership diversity increases the likelihood of organizational resilience in both service delivery and financial health, finding that greater board diversity is associated with targeted programming and advocacy to support racially diverse communities, and expanded service delivery. However, greater Black board representation is associated with lack of reserves, threatening financial sustainability. The analysis uncovers disparate effects of racial diversity on resilience for service delivery versus finances, suggesting diverse nonprofits are “doing more with less” in response to the pandemic.

Journal Name

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Originally published in Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affiars, with a CC BY license.