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BBB’s Give.org Study: 2 in 5 people would not donate to a charity that tolerates discrimination

Jun 6, 2022

Arlington, VA (June 06, 2022) – According to new research from BBB’s Give.org, 41% say they would not donate to a charity they supported in the past upon learning that the charity’s culture tolerates discrimination against people served. By comparison, 34% would not donate to charities using culturally insensitive images and language, and 17% would not donate upon learning the charity’s board is not diverse.

The standards-based, charity-evaluation group today released the Give.org Special Donor Trust Report: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The report, a survey of more than 2,100 adults in the United States and more than 1,000 adults in Canada, explores whether donors value DEI in charities, and whether DEI is a meaningful consideration in the giving process among the general public and different demographic groups.

“A lot has been said about diversity, equity, and inclusion, but not from the perspective of individual donors” said H. Art Taylor, President and CEO of BBB’s Give.org, “Our survey shows that most people assume a diverse, equitable, and inclusive charity is more trustworthy, better able to serve its constituents, and incorporates broader perspectives. While each charity’s DEI journey is complex and unique, the pursuit of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive charity is part of an organization’s strategy to be ethical, effective, and trustworthy.”

Other report highlights include:

  • 54% of U.S. respondents assume that having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive board and staff has a positive effect on how trustworthy the charity is.
  • Close to 20% of participants say that representation (of race and ethnicity, disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religious identity) in the community served by a charity is “highly important” (rated as 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) in their giving decision. On the flip side, between 25 and 30% report attributing low importance (rated as 1 or 2 on a 10-point scale).
  • One-third of participants consider demographic information reported by the charity about people served to be “very useful” in their giving process.
  • Younger respondents, people of color, and LGBTQ+ participants are more likely to (a) report hearing about a specific charity having a lack of DEI, (b) report positive associations related to a charity having a diverse, equitable and inclusive board and staff, (c) place high importance in representation on a charity’s board and staff, and (d) say that demographic information reported by the charity would be “very useful.

For a free copy of the report, go to Give.org/DonorTrust.

BBB’s Give.org urges donors to give thoughtfully by taking the time to investigate charities before making a donation and to visit Give.org to verify if a charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.

ABOUT BBB: The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for over 110 years. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 12,000 charities, for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, journalists should contact Elvia Castro (703-247-9322 or ecastro@give.org)