DEI Community Survey Analyses

Survey Methodology:  Members of each of the three DEI Community subgroups (demographic data collection and use, strategies to increase diversity in applicant and awardee pools, and reducing bias in peer review were asked to identify survey questions in order to better understand current HRA member DEI policies and practices and create evidence-based resources related to these three focus areas.

HRA DEI Community members created and administered the survey using Survey Monkey, which was officially launched in April 2021. The survey consisted of 41 questions in various formats including multiple choice and open-ended free-text response questions. All questions were optional and responses were de-identified during data analysis and for sharing information publicly, except where permission was explicitly stated and information provided allowing follow up on survey responses. Responses to the survey were requested through use of an internal HRA member list-serve which distributes information to multiple staff per each of the over 100 HRA member organizations.

Regarding demographic data collection, survey questions asked whether demographic data was collected and which groups of stakeholders the data was collected for. It was also asked what demographic data was collected (categories and subcategories), the approximate respondent rate, approximately how long the data had been collected for, and what reference schemes had been used to determine the demographic category options used for collection. Additional questions related to what groups were part of the organizations working definition of an underrepresented minority, how collected data was used, and if formal data use policies existed and had been reviewed by legal counsel.

Regarding strategies to increase diversity, survey questions asked about identified gaps and motivation for making changes in the grant selection process. Questions asked about specific details regarding DEI programs currently in place, and whether any strategies had been used to increase diversity in grant applicant and awardee pools and if there was evidence of these strategies being successful. We asked whether feedback had been received for any of these strategies. Other questions related to international applicant participation and encouraging continued participation or resubmission in grant competitions.

Finally, regarding bias in peer review, HRA member organizations were asked to describe any strategies in place to reduce bias in peer review, and whether demographic data was shared with reviewers. Members were asked if they evaluated reviewers or if they conducted any form of blinded peer review. Organizations were also asked if they had any strategies for diversifying governance, advisory or other external leadership roles and if they had any strategies to support or increase visibility for awardees from underrepresented minorities.

HRA member organizations were allowed approximately 3 weeks to complete the survey. The survey was completed, at least in part by 48  individuals from 45 HRA member organizations.

Results:  We are grateful to all HRA members who completed this survey and shared their organizational DEI practices and policies. From this data, the DEI Working Group is creating recommendations for how non-profit organizations can further their actions to improve DEI at their organizations and in their grantmaking practices. In addition, further resources and tools are being compiled, and seminars being planned for the upcoming DEI Community meetings based on the survey responses.

Results have been summarized by Subgroup and can be found via the links above.