Diversifying Your Team as a Nonprofit Organization

Many nonprofits are taking steps to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the boardroom and among the staff. These new efforts are great, yet it is important to understand what this means for the organization and the communities it serves.

So what does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean for the nonprofit workplace?

  • Diversity is the presence of differences within the workforce. Nonprofits should embrace a broad definition of diversity, not only based on race, ethnicity, and gender but one that also reflects their mission and the communities they serve.
  • Equity is the process of ensuring impartial and fair access, opportunity, and advancement for every individual. This can also include increasing fairness and justice within procedures, policies, and processes within the nonprofits.
  • Inclusion is the practice of ensuring team members, employees, and other people feel a sense of belonging and value within an organization. An inclusive environment is one in which individuals feel welcomed, respected, supported, valued, and able to fully participate.

Having a clear understanding and working definition of diversity, equity, and inclusion will help ensure leadership and the team will be working towards the same goal
Some benefits of having a more diverse, equitable, inclusive organization are:

  • Organizations with a more inclusive business culture and policies see a nearly 60% increase in innovation.
  • More diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces attract new talent.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion improves the organization’s ability to develop programs and services for the communities they serve.
  • Employees feel a greater sense of belonging and empowerment in more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments.

Where do you start? It may be hard to know where to start with your organizational efforts, however, be sure to do the following as you begin this long-term work.

  • Assess the workforce diversity, culture, policies, and practices. This should also include an assessment of the nonprofit board.
  • Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion within your workforce. Develop and disseminate a clearly defined stance on diversity, equity, and inclusion and develop specific workforce plans and programs to support this priority.
  • Be open and transparent about where you are and where you want to go. Determine how you will measure and monitor the performance of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Honing in on diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy is crucial to the overall success and growth of nonprofits. It’s important that you implement a strategy that really demonstrates your organization’s commitment to these efforts.

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