The National Lottery Community Fund announced today it had funded the two organisations on a 12-month partnership project called Making Diversity Count in the Charity Sector.
Acevo, a network of civil society leaders, and Voice4Change, a national advocate for the BAME voluntary sector, will collaborate on three strands of activity.
They will review existing research on diversity in the charity sector, ask BAME charity staff to share their experiences and views through an online survey and interviews, and consider how to bring about change.
Charity leaders, funders, recruiters and regulators are invited to contribute to the initiative on bringing about change.
The project will focus particularly on leadership.
Acevo's Pay and Equalities Survey 2019 revealed that 93 per cent of charity chief executives are from white backgrounds. None identify as being from black/African/black British backgrounds.
Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at Acevo, told Third Sector: "The figure doesn't seem to be shifting. This work hopes to find out why and what we can do to speed up change.
"Everyone agrees diversity in the sector is a problem and that there is a strong business case for improving it. It prevents groupthink and breeds innovation."
Sanjiv Lingayah, an associate of Voice4Change England and the research lead for this project, blogged today: "This needs to be real talk: honest and unveneered conversation that includes charity leaders who are signed up to the diversity agenda, as well as those who have concerns and qualms."
Kunle Olulode, chief executive of Voice4Change England, said: "If the charity sector is to fulfil its promise as an agent of progress, it needs to build diversity, equality and inclusion into its DNA."
Vicky Browning, chief executive of Acevo, said: "Charity leaders are not representative of the communities they serve.
"Despite widespread awareness in the sector of these facts, progress towards greater diversity has been slow and, too often, not inclusive of BAME voices."
Anyone who would like to be involved can submit their details here.