Question: Iam preparing to take on a leadership role in DEI for a large organization. We have acommittee standing to assist me, however, because DEI is ever evolving, we spend a lot of timediscussing the changes and our work hasn’t been fully realized by all. Any advice on how I canhelp balance the scales, between discussion and action?
Answer: Creating a timeline with deadlines can be an excellent strategy for achieving DEIgoals. To ensure everyone is on the same page, it’s important to consider adding specific detailsto the timeline, such as tasks and milestones to be completed. Additionally, assigning teammembers to oversee each task can help emphasize the importance of accountability and ensurethe timeline is followed. Lastly, having a timeline meeting will convey the importance of stickingto deadlines and having a backup plan in case its needed.
Question: Should we be striving to achieve diversity among our individual donor pool? Orshould we be approaching DEI more from the programmatic, operational, and cultural efforts; Aka, the impact that we’re making on DEI versus focusing on sourcing money from a diversegroup of individuals?
Answer: The approach your organization should take depends entirely on its goals. If you’relooking to advance your DEI initiatives through your current events, programs, and clients, thena programmatic approach would be the right choice. On the other hand, if your aim is tosegment your donor base and create a strategy to connect with potential donors who may havea connection to your existing donor base, then that’s the route you should take. Either way,achieving these goals will take significant time and effort, and it’s a decision that should bemade by your team, organization, and advisory committee. Best of luck!
Question: How can we add NTEE codes on the IRS file or Candid?
Answer: To add NTEE codes to your organization’s profile on Candid, you will need to claimand update your organization’s profile on the Candid website. Once you have claimed yourprofile, you can edit the profile information, including the NTEE codes. To add NTEE codes,navigate to the “NTEE Code” section of your organization’s profile and select the appropriatecodes that represent your organization’s mission and activities.
Keep in mind that the NTEE code system is periodically updated, so it’s important to review andupdate your organization’s codes to ensure they accurately reflect your mission and activities.
Question: My organization has made strides with DEI internally – training for the staff and relativelydiverse hiring, but leadership is very hesitant to discuss DEI with our fairly conservativedonor base and actively avoids it. How can I talk about the importance of sharing this value?
Answer: Your organization has taken some positive steps toward promoting DEI internally,which is great to hear. However, if DEI is one of your organization’s priorities, it should beshared with donors. One way to approach this might be to highlight the benefits of promotingDEI, such as attracting new donors who share your values and creating a more inclusivecommunity. Ultimately, the decision of how to communicate this message will be made byleadership, but it’s important to make sure that your organization’s priorities are being effectivelycommunicated to all donors.
Question: My organization is debating having a booth at a large community pride event butsome staff are worried that it’s not what we should be spending money on. Our organization isfocused on supporting BIPOC girls, and some of them are non binary, but some staff feel thatsupporting pride or getting too involved could feel like mission creep. Would love to know whatyou think about this?
Answer: The definition of mission creep is when a nonprofit organization deviates from itsmission and participates in programs or activities that do not align with its purpose. Existingdonors can view this as the organization lacking focus on its primary goals.
If you are considering expanding your organization’s focus, that will demonstrate yourcommitment to supporting diverse communities, whether through participating in events orproviding support in other ways. The best approach is to balance broadening your focus andkeeping your main goal connected to your mission.
Question: Ihave been incorporating strengths-based messaging or asset-framing for describingpeople we serve. How do we incorporate that into a DEI policy?
Answer: One way to incorporate strengths-based messaging into your DEI policy is to highlight unique skills, experiences, and perspectives from diverse backgrounds. This emphasizes thevaluable contributions diversity and inclusion can bring to your nonprofit.
If you’re working on creating or updating a DEI policy at your organization, you can review Bloomerang’s DEI Policy Template to help you get started.
What other DEI-related questions do you have? Ask away in the comments below.
Kristal Frazier is the Founder of Assertive Ask®, a fundraising system used by licensed trainers, organizations, and universities to help programs fund, sustain and grow. Kristal has an innate talent for coaching critical thinkers and thought leaders to craft words and deliver speeches that cultivate investors, funders, and donors. As a result, thousands of fundraisers, students, entrepreneurs, program leaders, and collegiate executives benefit from the Assertive Ask®. As an influencer and expert in teaching others how to speak to audiences without fear, Kristal is an inspirational speaker noted for her outgoing personality, insightful teachings, professionalism, and expansive knowledge. In addition to her speaking expertise, Kristal also serves as the CEO of FundJoy LLC, which provides a proven fundraising framework that helps universities, start-ups, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and marketing teams.