Log in
Log in

AFP SoCo Chapter Inclusion, Diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) UPDATES

IDEA announcements from your southern Colorado chapter

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • Monday, October 03, 2022 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    By Debbie Swanson, CFRE
    IDEA Committee Chair

    We all know that most organizations have embraced DEI training as a norm, whether because of true social consciousness or to avert a social media crisis. And it isn’t any surprise to hear that DEI training isn’t very effective in changing attitudes in a long-term way, as many social scientists are now proving. But DEI training is not going to go away. If an organization truly wants to see DEI training be effective and to create desired change, it must also implement changes to their systems - mentorship and accountability systems, mainly - to see any long-term success.

    Ivuoma Onyeador, an assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, has provided 5 suggestions that will help any organization see more success from DEI training in securing a more diverse workforce and diversity among leadership. They are:

    1. Be realistic about what one DEI Training will do for your organizations. Lofty goals like “increasing diversity in leadership by 25%” takes more than one training and need to be paired with other structures for the needle to move.
    2. Set better goals AND provide tools to help attain them. Providing opportunities for affinity groups, for example, may help your diverse employees attain their personal goals while helping the organization attain its DEI goals.
    3. Get Comfortable with Discomfort. Let’s face it. It goes hand in hand with DEI work. We’re scraping open very old wounds. Diverse groups will feel targeted, majority groups will feel accused. While assuring everyone it’s normal, just know there will be some tense moments and flared tempers. Providing space and time-outs for people to calm themselves will be important. So is the commitment to still continue the work.
    4. Measure Efficacy, not just Preference. Measure what was learned, not how people feel about the training. That is a better measure of effectiveness.
    5. Commit to on-going work. It will feel awkward at times. It will be tense at times. But nothing will change if people give up because of discomfort. Having more than one training is always better. Keep plugging away on your commitment.

    Read the whole article here:

  • Monday, April 18, 2022 2:04 PM | Anonymous

    By Katie Edson, IDEA Committee Member

    While foundations and nonprofit organizations have made meaningful advances in diversity, equity, and inclusion, the concentration is often focused on ethnicity, gender, race, and LGBTQ+ diversity, rarely does the conversation include disability as an area of focus in board, leadership, and staff positions. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (, 1 in 4 adults in the United States live with some type of disability. So why is disability missing, even among organizations who have strong DEI initiatives? To find an answer, RespectAbility, “A diverse, disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities, and that advances policies and practices that empower people with disabilities to have a better future,” conducted a study in 2018 on disability in philanthropy and nonprofits. Their study, assisted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Nonprofit Times, looked at foundations and nonprofits, assessing the state of disability inclusion. The full study can be found on RespectAbility’s website. RespectAbility’s website also has a free Inclusive Philanthropy Tool Kit which provides tips and simple steps nonprofits, and foundations can take to make their organizations more inclusive.

  • Thursday, February 10, 2022 11:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Courtney Deuser, MPA - IDEA Committee Member

    The words “white supremacy” often makes us white folks uncomfortable, especially women. Patterns in society that have always favored us are often not recognized because we have reaped the benefits without giving the institutions from which they came little to no thought. In the following article, Heather Laine Talley, Co-Director of Organizational Strategy and Practice at the Amy Madel and Katina Rodis Fund, dives into how white women are perpetuating white supremacy in our nation’s nonprofits. Follow the link to learn more about these toxic and often overlooked patterns and for information on how to truly begin to make culture shifts.

     Read article here

  • Tuesday, January 18, 2022 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    By Debbie Swanson, CFRE
    IDEA Committee Chair

    I’ve written for this newsletter for about a year now on the value of IDEA. This year, I have vowed to do something differently. Now is the time to simply start practicing it.

    You all have heard the statistics – how people of color are undervalued and experience racism, how different gender and sexuality expressions receive less support, how donors who are different than us are often overlooked for giving opportunities based on our assumptions, etc. I’ve done a lot of research and it’s pretty clear what the problem is. So what do we do with this knowledge?

    Setting up corporate awareness learning experiences are only a tiny movement forward. Nothing will happen until each of us individually firmly decides – even without knowing exactly how – to operate differently.

    For me, that means I vow to be my authentic self and recognize I cannot experience what people different from me experience. I will acknowledge that to them, and will let their experiences be a catalyst for all manner of different ways to do work – good work! What I will seek is what I do as a fundraiser – to be an authentic friend – to know each person well, to be a vulnerable and yet a safe person, especially when others are vulnerable.

    As I gain their friendship, I recognize that I will make people who are different from me cringe as I ask dumb questions and get schooled. I offer my apologies in advance, but more importantly, will offer them in person as well, as it sucks for them to be put in that position. I will not deny that I am a white privileged person that simply has chosen to ignore the pain of others for a very long time. My humility is not a salve to others’ pain and honestly I deserve whatever anger and frustration comes at me when I try to learn about others. (Anger and frustration, yes – but it’ll be a hard no on hostility.)

    Companies and organizations that have programs to “fix” inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility issues will not see much change if individuals don’t want to learn. It’s probably not smart to take those programs away, but we don’t want to fool ourselves easier.

    So all I can do is to challenge you, individually, to consider what it really means to embrace and bring people different than you into your inner circle and your friendship. Are you willing to sacrifice? To listen to pain and recognize and acknowledge your part in it? Are you willing to be a force to get others to do the same?

    This year, I want to change myself so that people who are different than me are willing take me on as a friend and a colleague and together we can change the world to be a better place. I don’t want to just encourage someone to “try this program” or say “you’d fit doing this.” Instead, I want to walk alongside someone as we both explore how to improve ourselves to be positive world change agents. Only then will the concepts of I.D.E.A. actually gain traction.

  • Sunday, December 05, 2021 11:36 PM | Anonymous

    By Debbie Swanson, CFRE
    IDEA Committee Chair

    A November 2020 study in the Nonprofit Times shows that while most nonprofits have much to say about increasing the diversity of their leadership, very little has been done to actually make that happen.

    When compared to a similar study done in 2016, there are severe drops in confidence of non-white, non-traditional sexuality in having skills or interest to be a leader in a nonprofit. More people of color are leaving the nonprofit sector to pursue work in the for-profit world. The increase of mentorships for white traditional nonprofit worker still far outpaces mentorships for those of color or differing gender or sexual identities.

    Here's the kicker: A third of those who represent a different color or sexuality are usually called upon to represent organizations in the community, to show the DEI efforts of the organization. It’s a major source of frustration. And it sucks away good talent from the organization. Most telling is the statistic that 42% of people of color had less desire to work in white-dominant organizations. That statistic grew to 58% in 2019.

    “Race equity isn’t a problem you solve,” says Frances Kunreuther, co-director of the Building Movement Project. “Race equity is not a checklist. It is a change in culture and practices — who has power, who has say in organizations, how they operate. If you are not making those changes, it does not matter that you are saying all these things.”

    Indeed, if we are not changing the paradigm of how we see diversity, equity, and inclusion as it fits in our organizations, we are not doing the actual work of DEI.

    Read the full article here:

  • Thursday, July 29, 2021 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    Debbie Swanson, CFRE
    AFP SOCO IDEA Committee Member

    My first job in the advancement arena was as a prospect researcher. The internet was still fairly young, and it was shocking how much information you could find about people if you were very clever with your search functions – back in the day of Dogpile, AskJeeves, and AltaVista! The internet was WIDE open with no blocks to information, and everything was still free!

    Back then, we could afford to be choosy about deciding what to use in determining the viability of a donor prospect. And we practiced a lot of biases. Divorced? Not going to be a big giver, since there would be alimony and child support payments. Lived in a sketchy part of town? That person would be set aside as well.

    I’m a little ashamed of some of the very conscious biases I practiced doing that work. It was my first job, so I’m going to give myself a break. After years of living out my career, I see the foolishness of making assumptions based on outward appearances. That is why our most successful work comes from building solid relationships over time. However, to say that today we (I) don’t make quick decisions on the viability of a potential donor is not true either. Unconscious bias still exists and is ingrained to the point that we (I) would never recognize it without a little help.

    Here is a fantastic little test to take, just to open your eyes a little. It’s found on AFP Global’s website and is a resource for any nonprofits and fundraisers who just want to check. It’s Harvard University’s Project Implicit Test at Once you take the test, if you need more resources that help you navigate through the honest biases that exist, and to help you be more genuinely anti-racist, check out AFP Global’s web page for resources at

    Let’s face it – I’m a white female Boomer – I have biases that I’ve lived with for years. The first step to getting rid of them is honestly owning up to them. I admit, I feel waves of panic as my sense of “right and wrong” is dismantled, even if I consciously would say I knew better. Living it is very different. But! I love this challenge and embrace it. I hope you do too!

  • Thursday, June 24, 2021 9:51 AM | Deleted user

    By Emily Loof 
    IDEA Committee Chair

    Giving USA Foundation released their much-anticipated report, Giving USA 2021, on June 15. This year’s report, which offers an annual comprehensive and data-driven look at the state of philanthropy in the U.S., was perhaps even more anxiously awaited than its predecessors, given the effects that the tumultuous last year had on philanthropy. Here are some IDEA-related takeaways, synthesized from the reactions of experts in the philanthropic sector. 

    Corporate giving declined--and was funneled into IDEA

    Corporate giving was down 6.1% in 2020 compared to 2019, and many corporations redirected their giving to IDEA-related initiatives that they had previously not supported. As Katrina Klaproth, Emily Christaldi, and Carole Arwidson from BWF reported, “Corporate giving declined, and most found themselves addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice issues head on in the wake of social unrest and heightened awareness of systemic racism and calls to once and for all address it. Many corporations will be reviewing their giving programs based on DEIJ considerations, which will likely impact particular appeals, grant opportunities, and campaign priorities.”

    Retention will be key for organizations who experienced an influx of donors

    Some small-budget nonprofits experienced an unprecedented increase in donors in 2020; this was especially true of community or grassroots organizations that are involved in social and racial justice work. Eric Javier, Principal & Managing Director at CCS Fundraising, reported that some of these organizations saw their budgets increase 10 or even 20 times over. Going forward, solid retention strategies will be the way for these organizations to attain sustainable growth, as conventional wisdom states that only 27 percent of first-time donors to an organization ever give again

    Interest in planned giving increased, thanks in part to changing demographics

    As Eden Stiffman, senior editor at the Chronicle of Philanthropy, reported: “Giving by bequest increased 9 percent in 2020. This category of giving is historically volatile. While some of this was because of the pandemic’s deadly toll, changing generational demographics were the biggest driver.” Stiffman cited professor of charitable financial planning at Texas Tech University Russell James, who explained that as Baby Boomers, (who are more likely to be charitably inclined than their predecessors) age, interest in planned giving will continue to spike. 

    You can view the entire Giving USA 2021 report by subscribing to Giving USA for an annual fee of $139.95. To do so, visit here: AFP SOCO is not affiliated with Giving USA Foundation and does not receive any portion of subscription revenue. 

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2021 7:31 PM | Anonymous

    By Debbie Swanson, CFRE
    IDEA Committee Member

    Taken from AFP Global article, Why Diversity and Inclusion Are Critical to Fundraising Success, September 26, 2018 (

    One of the principles in AFP Global’s Statement of Principles for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) is that AFP is committed to “exploring potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.” This is a daunting task, as it means several undesirable truths about our selves that must be confronted. False assumptions related to diverse donors, established approaches to fundraising, and the diverse talent in the advancement profession are destructively self-perpetuating. The advancement profession, like most professions, needs continued creative thinking about building pipelines of diverse talent. A variety of barriers—many unconsciously self-imposed—make identification and recruitment of diverse professionals a challenge for many leaders.

    In 2019, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and Aspen Leadership Group (ALG) released a whitepaper that introduced research that broke down assumptions which impede progress. It also outlined proactive strategies to help advancement leaders across all sectors address diversity and inclusion at their organizations and make real change.

    Nonprofit leaders have been reluctant to accept that their organizations are falling short in the area of workplace diversity. Equipped with knowledge, nonprofit professionals and volunteers need to engage in courageous conversations about why diversity is essential to fundraising success, how biases— many of them unconscious—create barriers to progress, and how change in the composition and behavior of leaders is so important to sustaining improvement in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    The paper outlines eight strategies for success in talent development and management that will work toward creating sustainable change within an organization. The following are just a few of the suggestions:

    1. Define diversity, equity, and inclusion for your organization, and specifically for advancementEstablish an organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion statement if one does not exist; update it if it does.
    2. Devote resources to diversity. Devote people and operating budget dollars to training, onboarding and retention programs, professional development, partnerships with consultants and associations focused on diversity, and other actions that demonstrate commitment to diversity and change behaviors in sustainable ways.
    3. Train hiring managers and hold recruiters to the same standard. Implicit bias is just that – we all have it, and in many cases, we are not aware. All search committees need to be trained in implicit bias with recruiters who train their search consultants as well.
    4. Pay careful attention to job descriptions, requirements, and postings. Include diverse-candidate-friendly, inclusive language throughout the position description, in addition to including your diversity, equity, and inclusion statement.
    5. Measure. Establish measurable diversity goals, then track progress.
    To learn more, see the article on AFP Global website, here, or click here to read the White Paper.
  • Saturday, May 01, 2021 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    By Emily Loof
    AFP SOCO IDEA Committee Chair

    It’s no secret that we are all pretty tired of Zoom hangouts.

    Fourteen months into this pandemic, we’ve all had to adjust to conducting all or most of our business and leisure activities online. As vaccinations ramp up and as Governor Polis and local officials begin to relax the health-based restrictions that were put into place to protect the public, many are returning eagerly to the in-person experiences they missed, including our fundraising events and programming.

    But one thing I hope we do not lose sight of in this moment of transition is how important it is to make sure these events and programming are accessible to all our audiences. The pandemic has highlighted how truly doable it is to move our events online, which has allowed our audiences to grow as the barriers to access have been lowered.

    Those barriers are varied and can include physical disabilities such as Deafness or Blindness; geographic barriers; and cost barriers. The pandemic has shown us that virtual or even hybrid events are a way to mitigate these barriers and open the aperture for involvement with our organizations.

    Approximately 446,132 Colorado residents are deaf or hard of hearing and approximately 107,700 are blind. This means that 10 percent of the population of our state are deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind. In a dream world, we as fundraising professionals would ensure that all of our events and programs going forward have a virtual component and offer accommodations like image and video description and closed captioning services for these members of our communities, and for those who are unable to attend our events in person due to health conditions, inability to travel, and more. I know that many of us probably lack the infrastructure to incorporate these elements immediately-- but I still hope we can work together and lean on each other to achieve the accessibility that our community deserves. For example, we on the AFP Southern Colorado board have vowed to offer a virtual component to our programming going forward wherever possible--and soon, I hope to explore adding closed captioning services to these virtual offerings.

    Do you have other thoughts or ideas on how we might prioritize accessibility going forward? I would love to speak with you. Please feel free to reach out to myself and the rest of the IDEA committee anytime by emailing

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    March is Women’s History Month in the United States, and March 8th was International Women’s Week. It seems appropriate to write about our profession and what our professional association has to say about women fundraisers at this time, while, of course, the issues women fundraisers have experienced are not reserved for this month alone.

    AFP released its most recent findings on pay equity on March 8th (in conjunction with International Women’s Day)1. In it, it found that women fundraisers are paid 10 percent less than men for the same job positions. While this fares better than the national average of all women’s pay compared to men (which is 19 percent), it still is a gap in pay for equal work. AFP Global, as part of its commitment to adhere to the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), has launched a series of initiatives to address IDEA, including the Women’s Impact Initiative (the other being Emerging Leaders Initiative and the Anti-Racism Initiative).  As part of the Women’s Impact Initiative, AFP Global is committed to accurate and timely research, creating awareness through social media and sharing stories, educating our members, and raising women to be leaders in the profession.

    There has been a lot of work already done at AFP Global. Since 2018, the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative has:

    • Conducted ground-breaking research on sexual harassment and gender pay inequity in the fundraising profession;
    • Created new educational materials, including fact sheets, videos, workbooks and webinars, on all aspects of gender equity and equality;
    • Developed new policies and procedures for use by the association and to be used as a model for charities around the world;
    • Launched mentorship, executive coaching, and cultural awareness programs to advance women’s issues; and
    • Inspired thousands of women and their allies to stand up, speak out and take action as we work to create a profession that is equitable, inclusive, diverse and effective2.

    Women in fundraising need the same consideration for fairness as other members of minority populations. AFP Global has given access to some amazing information and training tools for AFP members to use to increase their awareness on the need to apply IDEA in all of our lives. Below are some options for you to consider looking into:

    Unconscious Bias
    Communication Skills for Bridging a Divide:
    Inclusive Leadership Training:

    While these speak to not only our need to consider women worthy of equal pay, they are powerful reminders of how easy it is to go with the status quo. Being IDEA savvy is an intentional process that must be trained into us. The question is whether we are willing to be trained outside the status quo.

    While it’s good the work of women is highlighted for this month, let us not lose sight of what we hope to accomplish with equity for women in the workforce and remember that it is not women alone who still need to be noticed for inclusivity, diversity, equity and access.

    Debbie Swanson, CFRE
    AFP SOCO Board Member & IDEA Committee Member

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 

AFP SOCO website

Contact Us:

AFP Southern Colorado Chapter
PO Box 231
Colorado Springs | CO 80901
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software