International Pronouns Day

The third Wednesday of October is International Pronouns Day. The day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. In today’s blog post we will examine how we can participate in our fundraising work!

What are pronouns? 

They are words used instead of a noun in a sentence. For example, in the previous sentence “they” is the pronoun used in place of the word pronoun. We use them daily to refer to other people. In modern English we typically either refer to someone as he or she. However, there are other pronouns that can be used. Another common pronoun is “they,” which is gender-neutral. There are other pronouns that are sometimes used as well, and some people prefer if no pronouns are used at all, but rather their name be inserted where a pronoun typically would have been.

Now that you know what pronouns are and why they’re important, here are 3 ways you can celebrate International Pronouns Day at your nonprofit.

1. Ask For and Use Pronouns in the Workplace

Asking for and accurately using someone’s pronouns is a way of showing respect. There are plenty of ways to do this in the workplace. Add your own pronouns to your email signature and Zoom account. LinkedIn profiles have a designated space for your pronouns, now, too! Transgender and nonconforming people often have to announce their pronouns or correct mistaken assumptions; sharing yours even if you believe others will find them obvious is a way to normalize sharing and create a environment that is safer and includes more dignity for everyone.

2. Track Donors’ Pronouns and Titles 

It’s also important to make sure we keep track of how our donors want to be addressed. Just as we want to make sure we spell their names right in our databases, we want to ensure we are using the pronouns and titles that people prefer. 

International Pronouns Day

If your nonprofit doesn’t include options for recording pronouns and titles in your standard operating procedures for your database, add them in. (Need to draft a set of policies for your database? Check out this template!) 

3. Capture Titles and Pronouns in Bloomerang

Bloomerang has a few options for capturing titles and pronouns. There is a dropdown menu for gender that includes “other” instead of forcing everyone to fit a binary definition. It is also easy to add a pronouns field that includes he/him, he/they, she/her, she/they, they/them, and any other sets of pronouns you choose to include. For the title field, the gender-neutral term “Mx.” is also included in the drop-down menu. 

If your database doesn’t have similar features, make sure to ask them to add them. 

Want to learn more about personal pronouns? Visit https://pronounsday.org/ 

Learn More About Bloomerang’s People-Focused Features

Sarah Willey
Sarah Willey, MA, CFRE, SMS is an experienced fundraising professional with a passion for learning, teaching, and building community. She works as a coach and consultant with nonprofits across the US and Canada to build sustainable individual giving programs and write great communications. A lifelong learner, she holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis as well as the CFRE certification and a social media strategist (SMS) certification from the National Institute for Social Media, and is now pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and expects to complete her dissertation in 2023. Sarah can be reached at sarah@sarahwilleyllc.com