NonProfit PRO July/August Member Spotlight
Q: What impactful actions can nonprofits take to bridge the diversity gap that exists in our sector?
The work of a nonprofit is pivotal to sustaining communities and improving the lives of people from different backgrounds. I believe it is impactful for nonprofits to hire employees and contractors who not only reflect the organization’s values, but also the communities they serve — including race, gender, disability, religion and socioeconomic status. Secondly, nonprofits are brands as well. They must understand that employees need to build trust with leadership in order to remain loyal to the organization and execute the mission. Building that trust will require leadership to invite all staff to open and inclusive conversations on how to increase diversity. It’s an internal conversation that moves beyond the executive teams. This opens the door for creative problem-solving. Organizations must be transparent, internally and externally, about their efforts to build diverse and inclusive spaces for employees to thrive, feel empowered and continue to enrich communities. Diversity is where innovation begins.
Founder and Chief Brand Builder
LR Brand Consulting
We hire people who are like us. Without rigid rules telling us otherwise, we can’t help it. But what is “like us”? That is our in-group. It is not typically defined by race. But currently, our in-group is defined by things that spell “race” in America. Your in-groups are your college, your church, your sports, etc. Those groups are likely homogeneous. You will hire people like those in your groups, maybe even from your groups. Change your in-group to include a diverse population, and you affect diversity positively and naturally. For example, go to a mixed-race church, play a mixed-gender sport, create a mixed-race choir, socialize with differently-abled people, etc. Your in-group will change, and so will your office makeup.
VP of Psychological Strategy
Editor's Note: This Member Spotlight was originally published in the July/August 2020 print edition of NonProfit PRO.