Research Round Robin: April 2018

Since our March roundup of research, there’s already been a robust crop of new insightful data and analyses spanning issues like gender and racial equity, immigration policy, generational economic behavior, and national giving over a 30-year period. Here’s an overview of the newest research that caught our attention.

The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

2017 Gallup polls suggested that almost half of Americans perceive a link between immigrants and the proliferation of crime. Throughout its first year, the Trump Administration wrested on the prevalence of such a perception, using the claim that immigrants bring crime to America to push hardline immigration policy. But the historical trends suggest the opposite is true. As America’s immigrant population has been growing fast—going on four decades now—the national rate of violent crime has been on a steady decline since 1990. At the end of last month, in partnership with The Marshall Project, the New York Times published research that challenges the myth of the criminal immigrant. The research came out of a four-university team and examines the relationship between violent crime rates and immigration numbers over the last several decades in 200 metropolitan areas.

More on the report:
The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

Sexual Harassment Is Widespread Problem for Fundraisers, Survey Shows

Cause-based professions are not impervious to sexual misconduct. In fact, results of a Harris Poll conducted in February suggest that harassment in the fundraising space occurs at rates comparable to the overall rates for U.S. workplaces. That the prevalence isn’t a break from the norm, however, doesn’t make the implications less concerning. Among the poll findings, released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Association of Fundraising Professionals earlier this month, were astute trends related to the instigators of misconduct in fundraising workplaces. Namely, donors were to blame in two-thirds of reported instances of sexual harassment. Other stark trends in the poll findings were the disparate rates at which men and women experience harassment (25% of women, 7% of men), and the finding that 96% of harassers were men.

2017 Tech Nonprofit Diversity Report

Only 17 percent of for-profit tech company founders are women. Of the same population, 13 percent are people of color. The founder population at tech nonprofits, however, is a different story according to a new report by startup accelerator Fast Forward. On the nonprofit side, 47 percent of founders are female, and minorities make up 39 percent of the founder population. Only 30 percent of nonprofit tech org founders are white men. Why are women and minorities well represented in this space? Christina Shatzen—one of the report’s co-authors—makes the point that across industries and service areas, tech entrepreneurs typically spearhead work that addresses problems they’ve personally experienced. Statistically speaking, women and people of color still represent the populations that most commonly experience social issues firsthand. Along with the insightful snapshot of workforce composition, Fast Forward’s report also drills down on fundraising trends across sector (i.e. human rights, education, health care, etc.) and demographic categories (i.e. women-led, minority-led, white male-led, etc.).

More on the report:
Women And Minorities Are Leading The Charge For Socially Impactful Tech

30 Years of Giving in Canada – A look back to move forward

How much do you know about the giving habits of our fair neighbors to the north? In a new report for the Rideau Hall Foundation, Imagine Canada charts the behavior of Canadian donors over three decades. Overall, while the percent of Canadian filers reporting their charitable gifts has declined by about 6% since 1985, the average amount of the gifts reported has almost doubled—up to about $1,700 by 2014 from $900 in 1985. The report also breaks down percentages of total giving by cause areas, plus rates of giving by generation.

More on the report:
David Johnston: Canada’s strong culture of giving is in danger

BLS Millennial Expenditure Patterns

Using data from their Consumer Expenditure Surveys, the Bureau of Labor Statistics included a comparison of spending habits between Millennials and their elders in last month’s Monthly Labor Review. Some of the most surprising differences from the comparison showed up in spending trends for entertainment and housing. That Millennials are more likely to be renters is unsurprising; the fact manifests in greater than average spending on rent than their Baby Boomer counterparts. However, Millennials—many of whom entered the workforce just before or during the Great Recession—have less money and fewer assets than older generations had at the same age. Concurrently, despite being the frequent subjects of prevailing hedonistic stereotypes, Millennials spend substantially less than their Gen X and Baby Boomer antecedents on entertainment. For their purposes, BLS used Pew Research Center’s generational categorization, which considers 1981-born individuals the earliest of the Millennial generation, and 1996 babies the latest.

More on the report:
Hold the avocado toast? Millennials spend more on rent, less on entertainment, than others, research shows

Add Your Voice

The research summaries above are by no means an exhaustive list of the newest information out there to help us better understand the nonprofit landscape. So if we missed a report you think we should know and share about, let us know by leaving a comment!

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Civil Rights, Data, International and Foreign Affairs, IS Member, Public Policy, Race, Equity, and Inclusion, Voices for Good