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How to Get Started Building a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan for Nonprofits and Social Impact Organizations
Developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan can be a challenging, but always rewarding process. Studies show that incorporating DEI initiatives into your organization’s core values is a sure way to boost morale for those involved with your organization – especially employees and volunteers. Below we’ve highlighted 5 of the most effective ways to implement and enhance DEI in your organization.
- Develop a people-first mindset
Your employees’ firsthand experience with your organization gives them fantastic insight into how things can improve. By listening and paying attention to what your employees have to say, you can better understand the changes you need to apply to your current policies in order to build a more inclusive organization. Apply their ideas for improvement during your creation of DEI initiatives to make your organization a more equitable place to work, volunteer, and support.
Pro Tip: Try adopting the progressive stack method during your organization’s meetings. This method works by allowing marginalized groups a greater chance to voice their opinions that may not be heard otherwise.
- Volunteer and get to know your community
Many people volunteer as a way to both benefit their community and be engaged citizens. As a nonprofit organization or social impact organization doing community work, it is crucial to hear directly from your community and those you serve. By volunteering and getting to know the area or people your mission serves, you will learn from the individuals your organization directly impacts, which can lead to a broader, more purposeful DEI strategy.
Pro tip: Start with promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within your community projects and volunteer events to better understand how your DEI efforts are perceived by your community and supporters. You can use the GivePulse platform to host volunteer events and request anonymous surveys with questions of your choice to gain insight into how you can make a more significant DEI impact.
- Increase accessible within your organization
Include language about accessibility within your volunteer opportunities and events to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to pertinent information. Accessible language can and should be used everywhere in your organization, including flyers, events, projects, blogs, hiring documents, and more. If you are interested in learning more about accessibility, here are some great pointers.
Pro tip: To show how committed to DEI your organization is, write and publish a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement on your website. This helps supporters and your community see what your organization does, and that you are committed to equity for all.
- Bring multiculturalism to your spaces
Advocate for individuals of various backgrounds, faiths, origins, and identities in your workplace by creating regular events or posts that show your organization’s dedication to learning about and celebrating a variety of holidays. One example of this was when Mariana, a GivePulse team member, led a team activity for Dia de Los Muertos!
Pro tip: Create a holiday event page on GivePulse where employees can sign up to share about the different holidays they celebrate. This can be an ongoing registration list and that allows everyone in your organization to view, register, and participate in the events.
- Be engaged and sincere
Being engaged and active within your community of supporters and employees, and encouraging others to do the same is the best way to understand what changes need to be prioritized within your DEI strategy. Sincere engagement will help to build trust, and trust will win you their honest feedback. Once you and your community of employees and supporters have built meaningful relationships, you can learn about and implement their DEI ideas into the initiatives you’re building.
It’s necessary to take active and purposeful steps toward building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices in your organization. We hope these tips provide helpful insights for you no matter where you are in the process of creating or rethinking your DEI initiatives. To learn how GivePulse can further support your efforts, schedule a call with a success manager.