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Community-Based Research

Nonprofits face a wide range of challenges in serving the Capital Region. The Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development, in partnership with students, faculty, and staff from our consortium of colleges, offers an array of opportunities for us to work together in addressing these issues.

    Working together to strengthen the Capital Region:

    • Experiential learning with undergraduate and graduate-level students;
    • Service-Learning Projects (SLPs) incorporated into full-length graduate-level classes;
    • Rigorous research with faculty and faculty-led research teams; and
    • Intern coordination and placement.
    • Service leader volunteers (Go to EngageUAlbany to find out how you can engage student volunteers!)

    Recent Community-Based Research Projects:

    Diversity on Nonprofit Boards

    Michael Buckley

    In 2019, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region commissioned the Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development to assess nonprofit board diversity and inclusion throughout the region. The goal of the assessment was to understand current board demographics, identify organizational policies and procedures related to diversity, and evaluate attitudes around diversity.

    The final report identifies the challenges nonprofits face when recruiting a diverse pool of candidates and recognizes the obstacles members of diverse communities encounter in both recruitment to and service on boards. Findings highlight three key recommendations:

    1. Qualify individuals from underrepresented identities. Provide individuals who are passionate and willing to serve with educational training and resources to support their success.
    2. Match and connect with diverse communities. Connect community members’ skills sets with board opportunities at nonprofits serving our community. 
    3. Create a welcoming space on boards. Identify steps nonprofits can take to ensure they are inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of all identities and expertise. 

    The assessment was conducted by graduate interns Casey O'Neill, MPA candidate, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and Dhanisha Nandigama, MA candidate, I/O Psychology, in conjunction with the Institute and included surveys, focus groups, and interviews with nonprofit board leaders and underrepresented members of the community. The assessment was underwritten by the Community Foundation and the Charles L. Touhey Foundation.

    Please click here to download the full report.

    Interested in current research and best practices? Contact the Institute so we can link you with faculty and research that may be able to provide your organization with cutting edge solutions.

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