From the Nominator
"Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) trainings abound in higher education, but they often fail to translate into real behavioral change. With this in mind, Dartmouth Advancement designed a three-part antiracist training series that applied directly to the work of frontline fundraisers. They had been tasked with raising money for DEI priorities but were encountering challenges due to the complex nature of the work. The result was a transformative training program that impacted not only the hearts and minds of our fundraisers but also their actions as antiracist change agents.
Pre- and post-surveys indicate the magnitude of this impact. Prior to the training, 71 percent of the respondents were not comfortable talking about DEI priorities with their donors; however, one month after the series concluded, 100 percent of the respondents stated the training increased their willingness to represent DEI priorities to donors, and 75 percent of the respondents stated the training helped them advance giving conversations and close gifts. The training included support staff, and within this group, 100 percent of the respondents stated the training helped them add value to their work supporting DEI priorities.
Dartmouth accomplished these outcomes by intentionally crafting a training program that started with Dartmouth’s historical mistreatment of Native American and enslaved Black people, which was unknown to most of the staff. We then reviewed modern-day efforts to create a more inclusive institution, including raising funds for DEI priorities. The last session focused on developing the skills needed to articulate the DEI priorities, engage white donors and donors of color, and manage challenging conversations."
From the Judges
Dartmouth's practical and transformative educational program for frontline fundraisers exemplifies the leadership, strategy, and dedication to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are worthy of a Grand Gold distinction. We believe this approach to antiracist training for volunteers represents a fundamental shift in the role of advancement departments in working toward an organization's DEI goals. This is something we hope to see widely considered and replicated at other institutions for the benefit of our entire field.