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Diversity in Nonprofits Makes a Big Difference Featured

Diversity in Nonprofits Makes a Big Difference Gemma Chua-Tran

Like for-profit organizations, having diverse and inclusive nonprofits has become a popular topic of debate in recent years. According to a study by The Center for Effective Philanthropy, many nonprofits lack gender and sexual orientation diversity, although they have tried to address the issue of racial and cultural diversity. While The National Council of Nonprofits has stated that it stands for equity and justice while denouncing racism, intolerance, and exclusion, it has been proven over years that standing alone is not enough. Instead, nonprofits must follow a path that leads to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all their operations. Here are some practice pointers that will lead to the achievement of diversity and inclusion.

  • Focus on organization-wide diversity

Nonprofits must aim to foster diversity within and beyond their organizations. This should start from staff to vendors and suppliers and the community that helps the organizations in their causes and projects.

  • Understand the biases of your team

Understanding your team and their unconscious biases are essential in developing steps towards equity within your organization. It gives you knowledge that you need to address issues that exist with regard to gender, sexual orientation, and race, among others, as you develop strategies towards equity.

  • Build a culture of compassion

Members of a nonprofit should be culturally competent. Charities' leadership must work hard to create and sustain a culture of empathy and compassion among the members and all those they serve. This will reduce incidences of exclusion. Remember that values written in statements of organizations’ mission or vision will not make sense until they are implemented.

  • Be open to discussions

Discussions are a perfect way of venting. Therefore, regular discussions among the community and nonprofit leaders bring up issues of inequality. Hosting discussions allows people to step out of the “echo chamber” and say what affects them. Ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and understood respectfully. Make the discussions open to allow every stakeholder to voice their concerns, challenges, and views.

Questions you should consider when creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion

To create a diverse environment for your nonprofits, you have to ask yourself some questions to form a guide that you will follow.

  • One of the questions you should consider is how transparent my organization is and how I wish to make my organization diverse? Also, ask yourself how your organization will communicate your values to the public, donors, volunteers, and paid staff.
  • Secondly, consider whether the organization's values have been published on the website of your organization or shared publicly. If they have been published, do these values make sense with regard to your commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion? Are they inward-facing, outward-facing, or a combination of the two?
  • Does your nonprofit listen to everyone's voices, including the community, grassroots, young people, underserved and marginalized populations within the community?
  • How can your nonprofit ensure there is diversity during the hiring of staff? This question will guide you in hiring talented candidates across communities and underrepresented groups.
  • Ask yourself if your organization is committed to making diversity, inclusion, and equity part of the orientation process for new board members, paid employees, and volunteers.

In conclusion, although most for-profits ensured diversity is in place in their strategies to meet the goals of inclusion, nonprofits still have some way to go. It is time for charities to do the same by incorporating diversity and inclusion in every aspect, such as hiring practices, instead of just talking and doing nothing tangible about it. This should be done at a good pace since doing it slowly will never help you achieve your goals in the modern era.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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