In March 2022, Charity Navigator will release its first ratings evaluating the extent to which nonprofits are implementing policies and practices that contribute to inclusive workplaces and more equitable outcomes for their staff and constituents. Rating this set of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (or “DEI”) policies and practices provides donors an opportunity to see how organizations are representing themselves to their constituent communities, and if their values of DEI transcend within their organization. Charity Navigator’s DEI ratings have been developed by reviewing literature and directly engaging with dozens of field leaders in partnership with external consultants at the Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE).

This consultative process has shown that, while the sector has varied emphases and acronyms for the work (such as Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access), there is growing consensus around a common set of DEI principles and practices that help nonprofits maintain positive work cultures and achieve their charitable mission.

Dr. Judy Lubin (President, CURE) kicks off this blog post with high-level lessons on why these practices are so essential for the nonprofit sector. Dr. Lubin’s reflections are followed by thoughts from Claas Ehlers (Chief Executive Officer, Family Promise) on how his organization has infused these practices into the work they do to help children and families achieve sustainable housing and independence.

How can implementing equity practices benefit a nonprofit organization?

These practices have been shown to increase internal motivation/belonging of staff; as well as contribute to better decision-making (at the governance and staff levels) and better performance. One way this benefits organizations is by helping to ensure that the same dynamics and exclusionary practices that create and reinforce inequities in our communities and society are not being replicated in the organization. This approach also can create more authentic engagement and partnership with underserved communities by centering constituents as leaders/experts in addressing community conditions, as opposed to a relationship where nonprofits are posited as “saviors” of these communities.

Read the full article about diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in nonprofits at Charity Navigator.