Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been important topics of discussion in our society, and specifically in the field of nonprofit advancement, for many years. Many well-intentioned people have led efforts to improve DEI—some successful, and some less successful. For some organizations, the diversity of the potential volunteer and donor population is increasing. For others, it is shifting. For most, diversity in those populations has been greater than the organization’s capacity to engage fully with that diversity.
We hear from advancement leaders every day—in our search and consulting work at Aspen Leadership Group—that they know they need to engage and reach more diverse constituents, and they want to hire and lead more diverse teams. Yet they are frustrated by their own and their organizations’ lack of progress, and they are often overwhelmed by what seems to be an insurmountable challenge.