Top 12 Actionable Ways To Incorporate IDEA Ideals Into Fundraising In An Ever Changing World!

Top 12 Actionable Ways To Incorporate IDEA Ideals Into Fundraising In An Ever Changing World!

Chapter Leadership Brief 07.28.2023

By Crystal Fields-Sam, IDEA Committee Chair, AFP NYC Board Member

It is important now more than ever to incorporate and promote IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) into all aspects of fundraising work.  It requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. Inclusion is the cornerstone of a thriving fundraising ecosystem. Embracing diversity fosters creativity, broadens our reach, and enables us to engage with a wider range of donors. It is essential to ensure that all fundraising professionals have equitable opportunities to thrive and succeed, regardless of their background or identity. Access is the gateway to a more inclusive fundraising profession. We must actively work to break down barriers that hinder individuals from underserved communities from entering and excelling in the fundraising field. 

 Here are some strategies that a fundraiser can implement to promote IDEA:

  1. Internal Organizational Culture: Foster an inclusive and diverse organizational culture by promoting open communication, actively seeking diverse perspectives, and ensuring all team members feel valued and respected. Establish clear policies that promote equity and fairness within the organization.
  2. Training and Education: Provide regular training and workshops on unconscious bias, cultural competence, and diversity awareness to all staff members. This will help raise awareness and sensitivity towards different perspectives and experiences.
  3. Inclusive Fundraising Strategies: Develop fundraising strategies that consider the needs and preferences of diverse donor communities. Tailor outreach and communication efforts to connect with different demographics effectively.
  4. Community Engagement: Engage with and build relationships with diverse communities, including those that have been historically marginalized. Listen to their needs and aspirations, and involve them in shaping fundraising initiatives that directly impact their communities.
  5. Equitable Resource Allocation: Ensure that resources are allocated fairly and equitably among different programs and communities. Address any disparities to provide equal support and opportunities for all initiatives.
  6. Inclusive Language and Imagery: Be mindful of the language and imagery used in fundraising materials to avoid reinforcing stereotypes or excluding specific groups. Aim for inclusive messaging that resonates with a diverse audience.
  7. Accessibility and Inclusivity at Events: Make fundraising events accessible and inclusive by considering various needs, such as physical accessibility, language interpretation, and dietary restrictions.
  8. Diversity in Partnerships: Collaborate with diverse organizations and partners to expand networks and create more inclusive fundraising campaigns.
  9. Data Collection and Evaluation: Collect and analyze data on the demographics of donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Use this information to identify areas for improvement and track progress in promoting IDEA.
  10. Transparent Decision-Making: Practice transparent and inclusive decision-making processes within the fundraising team and involve stakeholders from diverse backgrounds in major decisions.
  11. Mentorship and Support: Provide mentorship and support programs for fundraising professionals from underrepresented communities to help them advance their careers and succeed in the field.
  12. Accountability and Assessment: Regularly assess and evaluate the organization's progress in promoting IDEA. Hold leadership and staff accountable for upholding inclusive practices and values.

AFP NYC's chapter leadership fully embraces IDEA ideals and works tirelessly to incorporate the actionable practices listed above by encouraging a culture of continuous learning and staying updated on best practices for promoting IDEA in the fundraising sector. It goes without saying but...I feel I should mention diverse hiring and Board recruitment is a tried and true way of incorporating IDEA. It should not be ignored or minimized. 

By actively seeking out diverse candidates during the hiring process, implementing blind hiring techniques to mitigate bias, incorporating IDEA ideals can play a crucial role in creating a more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible fundraising profession that truly reflects the communities they serve. It is my pleasure to be an AFP NYC Board member and Chair of the IDEA committee.   We are currently recruiting IDEA committee members and welcome adding you to our amazing IDEA think tank!

With gratitude,

Crystal Fields-Sam
IDEA Committee Chair 
AFP NYC Board Member

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