Incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) into your capital campaign is important for many reasons. In addition to ethical and moral reasons, there’s growing evidence that a DEIA workplace is good for business.
- How Diversity Helps Companies Succeed – McKinsey & Company
- How Diversity Can Help With Business Growth – Forbes.com
While studies focus on for-profit businesses, I believe the benefits extend to nonprofit organizations too. That’s because benefits are not only financial, but include things like increased creativity, a better working environment and more.
Capital Campaigns are Inherently Inequitable
It’s important to recognize that successful capital campaigns require on a few donors who can give the lion’s share of the goal. This important campaign structure and strategy cannot change in the name of diversity or equity.
In other words, you cannot raise $10 Million or even $1 Million in $100 increments or even $1,000 increments. Campaigns are inherently not equitable. Successful campaigns are highly dependent on a very few donors at the top of your gift range chart.
While certain campaign practices cannot change, there are many ways to incorporate more equitable practices in your nonprofit and your campaign.
5 Reasons to Work Toward Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access
Here are 5 reasons to work toward a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplace for your nonprofit, which will benefit your campaign.
1. To Better Align with Organizational Values
Most nonprofit missions are, in some way, to make the world a better place. Regardless of whether you’re providing education, healthcare, social services, or other essential services, most nonprofit values align and benefit from diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
2. To Increase Community Engagement
Demonstrating that you are inclusive will encourage a wide range of community members to get involved with your organization and your campaign. Attracting new donors and supporters to your organization is key to campaign success.
3. To Broaden the Donor Base
All nonprofits want to broaden their donor base. Outreach to new communities through efforts to increase diversity will naturally open doors to new communities and donors.
4. To Attract and Retain Talent
Demonstrating a commitment to DEIA ideals will help attract staff and volunteers who might not otherwise engage with your organization. Providing a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplace, will help you attract and retain a new pool of staff and volunteers.
5. To Improve Innovation and Creativity
Including a diverse range of ideas will enhance innovation and creativity of your team members. Successful campaigns follow best practices, in addition to being able to create and innovate.
5 Ways to Incorporate DEIA into Your Capital Campaign
Incorporating DEIA into your fundraising campaigns is a moral and strategic choice. It will help your organization reflect core values back into the community as well as lead to impactful and successful fundraising efforts.
Here are a number of ways you can incorporate DEIA into your campaign.
1. Through Diverse Leadership
Choose your leadership team, not only based on their ability to financially support the campaign, but also based on diverse characteristics and attributes.
For example, you may choose to have a sub-committee during the public phase of your campaign which is dedicated to DEIA ideals, with a goal of including a wider range of donors to the overall campaign.
2. Through Stakeholder Input
While your feasibility study interviews must focus on your biggest potential donors, you can also create opportunities to solicit input from a diverse group of community stakeholders about various aspects of your campaign.
3. Through Equitable Recognition
While you will want to recognize donors to your campaign, you can also recognize others for their non-financial contributions. Brainstorm ideas with your committee about how you might recognize donors and volunteers in a more equitable way than the traditional methods.
4. Through Cultural Sensitivity
Use a sub-committee to help review your campaign materials to insure they incorporate culturally sensitive language and are not accidentally offensive to a diverse audience.
5. Through Inclusive Events
Plan a few campaign-related events to be inclusive and accessible to all in your community.
Incorporating DEIA Takes Time, But it’s Worth It
Incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion, and access into the fabric and culture of your organization is an ongoing process. It takes long-term commitment and dedication. It is not a one-time event and will take time and effort.
7 Ways Capital Campaign Pro is Improving DEIA
Here are the steps we are taking at Capital Campaign Pro to become a more equitable and diverse organization:
- We hired a DEI consultant in January 2023 to help us with the process.
- We put together a DEIA committee and have been meeting regularly to come up with priorities, goals, and meaningful next steps.
- We sponsored several diversity-focused, fundraising conferences in 2022 and 2023 and will continue to do so.
- We updated and revised our DEIA and anti-racism statement and reviewed it with our team.
- We are working a plan to recruit and retain a more diverse team and client base.
- We are conducting focus groups for BIPOC fundraising consultants. Click here to learn more and join »
- We are building a free resources section of our website focused on diversity – check back soon.
Working toward a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible organization is not only the right thing to do, but it will have long-term benefits for your organization and your community.