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What are YOUR underlying or unquestioned assumptions?

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 7:26 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 (https://afpglobal.org/why-diversity-and-inclusion-are-critical-fundraising-success)

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.
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