Getting Started

There are a range of resources that provide guidance on how you can build equity, diversity and inclusion efforts within your nonprofit organization.  While some elements are best led by an impartial, outside consultant, there are many aspects that can be self-led.  If members of your team have the experience and skills, and your organization has made the necessary time and values commitment, much of this work can be self-facilitated.

Are you ready to do the work?

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to take a self-analysis to ensure you and your organization are prepared to embark on the journey.  Having commitment from leadership and the necessary resources at hand are essential for success and can cause harm if not ensured up front – conduct a readiness survey to be clear about potential barriers and challenges.  This self-assessment from the Denver Foundation’s Inclusivity Project will provide you with some good food for thought.

Step-by-Step Guides

The following are free guides that will lead you step-by-step through the process.  Most are guides with a broad-based focus on general inclusion, the first specializes in applying a racial equity lens.

For nonprofit service organizations
Awake, to Work, to Work, Equity in the Center.
Building Inclusive Nonprofit Organizations
, The Denver Foundation.
Achieving Diversity in the Workplace: A Step-by-step guide,  Third Sector New England.

For foundations
Power Moves, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Leveraging the Power of Difference
, Michigan Council of Foundations.


Get Started

Welcome!  Below are three first steps which will give any nonprofit organization a solid beginning for creating an actionable diversity, equity and inclusion plan.  If you’ve already begun this work, you may be able to self-facilitate these steps, however using a skilled consultant will help you mitigate the effects of internal power dynamics, identify potential … Continue reading Get Started

5 Action Steps

Many nonprofit organizations feel challenged at the task of recruiting a racially diverse staff.   They may have tried a number of things unsuccessfully or feel unsure of how to start the work.  Organizations such as these often have a majority white staff – especially at the top. I call these historically white organizations – nonprofits … Continue reading 5 Action Steps

Why Hire a Consultant?

There are many reasons to hire a consultant when it comes to expanding diversity and inclusion.  Here are two top reasons: YOU WANT SOMEONE WITH KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCES AND SKILLS. A skilled consultant will: Move your process along faster and more effectively than doing it internally, while avoiding costly missteps. Offer information on best practices and will apply those … Continue reading Why Hire a Consultant?

Making the Financial Case

“I’ve been worried about the diversity issues in my nonprofit organization for awhile now.  I’m the #2 person, my Executive Director is a little aloof about this.  I think he’s ultimately worried that our white, wealthier donors and board members will see this as “fringe work.”  Staff are becoming unhappy with our lack of action … Continue reading Making the Financial Case