Businesses more antiracist than charities, report finds

Charities are lagging behind businesses in promoting antiracism, a report into corporate and NGO partnerships has found.

The findings have emerged in C&E Advisory Services’ annual barometer of NGO and corporate partnerships, which includes the views of 130 companies and non-profit organisations.

This found that anti-racism issues, particularly after the death of George Floyd in the US, have risen up the agenda of charities and companies in the last year.

But while around three quarters (76%) of corporates say they have made a strong and strategic response to antiracism in the last year, this proportion falls to 61% among NGOs.

Similarly, 71% of businesses said issues raised by the #BlackLivesMatter movement feature in their organisation’s partnerships with charities.

However, this proportion dips to 47% among non-profits, which is below C&E's expectations.

In 2020, C&E had estimated that six in ten charities would say that antiracism issues would figure in this year’s report.

The report says that “it is unclear as to why this performance gap exists” in charities’response to anti-racism.

It speculates that lack of resources to invest in addressing racism may be a factor.

Another “may be that the non-profit sector was starting from a higher base in terms of its practices on race, diversity & inclusion, so required less additional action”.

The report adds: “Whatever the reason, it does seem ironic that the non-profit sector, which is much admired for its mission and values orientation, is faced with such a clear comparative deficit in terms of sectoral responses to the antiracism challenge.”

In July, the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer found that a fifth of charities claim to be unable to enact improvements to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) due to a lack of financial resources.

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