Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 33

Community and Diversity
Unfortunately, nonprofit organizations are often
strapped for time or cash and favor candidates with
similar backgrounds over anyone else. Without an
established talent pipeline-through education, internal
promotions and an ever-expanding number of openings-
it is hard to compete for the very few experienced
and qualified positions within the industry. This issue
can easily be solved by investing more resources into
onboarding and transitioning candidates with nontraditional backgrounds or promoting from within. We
could also broaden our views to consider transferable
skills from other industries, such as sales, banking,
insurance or community services. Of course, it is easier
for everyone when a candidate can easily transition into a
role, but there's also merit in diversity of experience and
thought. We must develop objective selection processes
to ensure we are not putting an unreasonable burden of
requirements on diverse candidates who don't come from
traditional fundraising backgrounds.
Another well-meaning bias we encounter on hiring
committees is their donor-centricity. When evaluating
candidates, hiring committees think about how the
candidate would connect with the organization's
current donors. Our donor pools are not particularly
representative, so the heuristic becomes how would
candidates connect with older white men. It does us
all a disservice to think that older white male donors
can only connect with other white men or younger
white women. If the hiring committee hires a candidate
who is authentic, strategic and adept at connecting
with varied audiences, they would be able to connect
with any donor pool regardless of their racial or
cultural background, and ideally, assist in building new
relationships. A comprehensive onboarding plan, paired
with internal mentorship or solicitation teams of more
than one fundraiser, could be another solution to ensure
fundraisers' success.
Philanthropy is expressed differently in different
cultures and the professionalization of the industry has
primarily been witnessed by wealthy white communities.
This is partly due to a society that has glorified the images
of white male philanthropists for centuries and overlooked
the societal contributions of BIPOC philanthropists. Not
only is this very unwelcoming and uninspiring for members
of diverse communities, but it has also attracted nonprofit
professionals who have unknowingly helped perpetuate
this view. Therefore, we need to work harder to inspire
members of diverse backgrounds to pursue nonprofit
careers. One way to accomplish this is to address the
stereotypes that plague our industry. Another is to partner
with educational institutions and professional associations
October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org	

to offer mentorship opportunities and fast-track programs
for those interested in a career in fundraising.

INCLUSIVE WORKSPACES ACROSS
THE BOARD
In addition to changing nonprofit organizations' image to
be more representative of diverse communities, we also
need to create more inclusive work environments for the
many talented fundraisers already in the sector.
As we navigate our new normal, and parts of North
America begin to loosen stay-at-home orders, many
fundraising professionals are being pressured to resume
face-to-face activities. Those able to get back in the
field probably don't have underlying health concerns or
familial caregiving responsibilities. And they likely have
access to a vehicle and don't rely on public transit. For
many, socioeconomic status and race play a factor in
their ability to resume certain fundraising duties. Thus,
it is the privileged who can reinstate regularly scheduled
activities, which will pave the way for future successes,
compensation and adulation in the form of promotions.
Likewise, have we truly considered our capacity to
respond to the cadre of intersections of diversity that
the new millennium donors represent? As fundraisers,
do we truly know how to relationship-build in donorcentric ways where our donors represent many races,
religions, gender expressions, sexual orientations
and abilities? Do our databases allow us to indicate a
donor's preferred pronoun? Beyond the perfunctory
multi-faith holiday calendar on our desktops, are
we tuned into religious considerations, such as not
hosting our annual local celebrity chef soiree during
Ramadan? Have we considered our annual "a-thon's"
accessibility from the perspective of someone with
mobility considerations? Are we still hosting teambuilding activities at Halloween, where staff dress up
in culturally-appropriated costumes without being
addressed? Are staff who wear religious symbols asked
to 'share their background' on their first day of work? Is
the sole racialized staff member on the team invited to
join the internal diversity committee?
A colleague once started a new job just before the
holiday season, and many of her first interactions with
new colleagues were around Christmas lunches. At
one luncheon, a well-meaning colleague politely asked
whether her family served ham or turkey at Christmas
dinner. Two weeks into a new job, trying hard to find
a way to belong, the colleague found herself having
to explain that her family does not serve any animal
products on Christmas eve. This then turned into an
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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover1
Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover2
Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 1
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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/advancing-philanthropy-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AFP_Jan2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AFP_Oct2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AP_July2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/p26198_afp_2012techknowbrochure
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g24762afp_con2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g24195afp_12confbroc
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g18184_afp_chicago2011
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com