5 Practical Ways for Nonprofits to Develop a Culture of DEI Awareness

Our world continues to progress and it has become increasingly important for organizations to prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) awareness. Nonprofits, in particular, have a unique opportunity to lead the way in this area, as they are often centered around causes that directly impact marginalized communities. Furthermore, they also play an integral role in shaping society by addressing various social issues. As a nonprofit leader, you have a pivotal role in fostering a culture of DEI awareness within your organization. In this blog, we will explore actionable strategies that nonprofits can implement to cultivate and uphold a vibrant culture of DEI awareness.

Let’s dive in!

Train and Educate Your Staff and Board Members

Training and educating staff and board members are practical measures nonprofits can take to develop a culture of DEI awareness. Staff and board members who understand DEI concepts and issues like unconscious bias, microaggressions, and systemic racism can contribute to charting ways towards a more inclusive and equitable culture.

Include DEI in Organizational Policies

Inclusion of DEI practices in the organization’s employee handbook is another way to promote and foster a culture of awareness. The policies developed for your organization should state the organization’s commitment to DEI and create accountability provisions. This sends a message to employees, board members, and stakeholders of the importance placed on cultivating an inclusive workplace.

Encourage Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provide an opportunity for employees to come together, share ideas, and connect with colleagues around shared interests or identities. This platform can help employees feel more seen and heard in the workplace, improving employee engagement and retention rates.

Foster Inclusivity in Recruiting and Hiring Process

Another way to build a DEI-oriented culture is by ensuring recruiting and hiring processes are also inclusive. The organization should examine its recruiting/hiring process and assess how it screens new applicants. It’s valuable to select candidates based on qualifications, and not based on appearance, background, or cultural fit. Diversity of thought helps drive your strategy, brings new ideas, and overall benefits your organization. Offering opportunities and a welcoming environment to underrepresented groups in society can help cultivate a culture of inclusivity.

Regularly Measure and Evaluate DEI Metrics

Evaluation and accountability are critical when developing a culture of DEI awareness. Nonprofits should set goals that measure their progress towards creating an inclusive culture, and these goals should be reviewed and reported the same way as financial performance. Regular evaluation and metrics help nonprofits to identify areas of success and shortcomings, thereby leading to areas of opportunity.

As a nonprofit leader, creating a culture of DEI awareness is an essential step for any nonprofit organization striving to be a top performer in fulfilling its mission. Nonprofits can foster a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion by implementing key strategies. These include educating employees, enhancing organizational policies, fostering inclusive hiring practices, encouraging employee resource groups (ERGs), and measuring DEI metrics. This approach not only improves engagement, but also fosters an inclusive and collaborative environment. Overall, this collective effort will elevate the impact and sustainability of the nonprofit’s mission.

Raising awareness and sparking conversations around DEI concepts, historical context, and current issues relevant to your cause is crucial. Consider hosting workshops or training sessions facilitated by outside experts who can provide valuable perspectives and create a safe space for these necessary conversations.

At UST, we understand the challenges faced by nonprofit leaders in terms of time and budget constraints. That’s why UST HR Workplace is here to help streamline the support your HR needs. Sign up today for a free 60-day trial and gain access to our live HR certified consultants, a library of 300+ on-demand training courses, and a comprehensive compliance library. We are here to empower you with the tools and training necessary to cultivate an inclusive and supportive environment.

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12/18/23 8:30 AM

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