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Why DEI Is Important for Nonprofits




What thoughts come to mind when you read these words? Do you pass over them as if they are irrelevant or do you stop to consider the implication in your work?

Oftentimes, awkward feelings arise when we feel threatened or don’t fully understand the issue. The National Council of Nonprofits published an excellent article on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) as it relates to the nonprofit sector. Click HERE for the article.

Why is DEI important? Why is it important to your nonprofit organization? Does it really matter if your nonprofit has a DEI policy?

These are just a few of the uncomfortable but important questions all of us should be asking and answering for ourselves and for our organizations. If you’re shifting in your chair or avoiding the questions, then there is work to do.

The National Council of Nonprofits gives some very practical advice, poses questions, and offers resources to help guide your journey. Here’s an example:

  • Understand terms and definitions, such as personal power vs. social power, cultural default, theory of change, and spectrum of violence.

  • Understand your own and your team’s implicit/unconscious biases.

  • Demonstrate your commitment to DEI by making it an integral part of all strategic decisions and operational priorities.

Additionally, nonprofits must be transparent in the steps being taken to be diverse and promote inclusive practices. Does your nonprofit have a diversity committee or staff person dedicated to DEI principles? What is the racial makeup of your board? Your leadership? Taking time to review your organization can be uncomfortable but is necessary to ensure you are taking steps in include these DEI practices.

Rather than facing these important social issues head-on, the State of Florida has recently imposed a new law, the Individual Freedom Act, also known as the Stop WOKE Act.

The law makes it an unlawful employment practice under Florida law to “[subject] any individual, as a condition of employment . . . to training, instruction, or any other required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe” a defined list of concepts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

This applies to nonprofits who are scrambling to address the new law. The law is vague and subjective and distracts nonprofits and funders in Florida from serving their communities. The needs of the people they serve are challenging enough without this additional burden.

Nonprofits serve a wide variety of people and

be inclusive of the voices they represent.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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