An organization’s capacity to reflect and respond to the rich diversity of our society profoundly impacts its ability to fulfill its mission. At Aspen Leadership Group (ALG), we believe that shaping an organization’s culture will in turn transform its engagement and overall fundraising. Working with ALG, your team will explore their internal and external roles and responsibilities as they relate to diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI), with a specific lens toward nonprofit development work. From how unconscious bias shows up in advancement, to hiring a diverse front-line fundraising team, to improving donor engagement, ALG will help start a robust, encouraging dialogue that moves your team’s DEI goals from awareness to action.
Our practice is led by a certified unconscious bias trainer and backed by nationally respected experts in diversity, equity, inclusion, and women’s philanthropy. We can work with your leadership and team — not just as facilitators, but as long-term strategic thought partners — to build a roadmap customized to your organization’s unique needs.
- Understanding the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as essential components of a successful advancement program
- National DEI recruitment and retention trends in talent management specific to advancement
- Understanding of how to work with diverse donors to clarify their philanthropic values, vision and voice
- Recognition of how certain demographics and psychographics influence diverse constituent engagement, and giving
- Awareness of cultural competencies and differences in communication styles across diverse groups, as well as appropriate adjustments
- Understanding of key obstacles to success in recruitment, retention, and performance – including advancement-focused unconscious bias, microaggressions, and sexual harassment workshops designed for frontline fundraisers
Awareness-building typically involves one to two days on site, sometimes in a retreat framework, plus prep and follow up discussions.
- Landscape review of peer organizations’ DEI programs
- Design and analysis of climate survey instruments and focus groups to gather input from your internal and external stakeholders regarding diversity, equity and inclusion
- Identification of key assets, as well as obstacles at play in your organization
- Facilitation of a diverse task force of volunteers and staff to gather input on the potential for growing diverse philanthropy at your organization
- Examining and conducting a diversity, equity and inclusion audit of your policies, procedures and overall environment
- Identification of characteristics of the most successful DEI efforts nationwide and analysis of how your organization currently performs against these ideal behaviors and approaches; this will include evaluation of the commitment of leadership and resources required for success
Drawing on lessons learned through assessment, we will work with you to develop a specific and detailed aspirational action plan that will close the gaps between your current status and the vision of where you would like to be. The plan will present the greatest opportunities for impact and include specific recommendations for building a commitment to DEI efforts and overcoming internal and external obstacles. The plan may include:
- Strategic planning and integration of DEI practices that expand the value of cultural diversity within your teams and toward your supporters to drive change and growth in your organization
- Design and implementation of diversity and inclusion programs, including effective recruitment and retention practices, unconscious bias training for search committees, strategic inclusive hiring plans, onboarding, and mentoring and sponsorship programs
- Hands-on workshops with teams to design the specific adaptations for your organization to achieve your strategy
- Training for team members in applying current knowledge of effective engagement and fundraising strategies with diverse volunteers and donors. Driving appropriate change to achieve your goals in all areas of the donor lifecycle, from identification, to interest-building, to involvement, to investment discussions, to stewardship
- Counsel for CEOs and senior management, as well as individual and team coaching, to ensure successful implementation of desired behavioral adaptations
- Assistance in establishing and supporting an internal and external DEI volunteer council that’s prepared to implement and sustain effective work in this area
Additional recruitment-specific action may include:
- Designing a comprehensive outreach strategy to engage diverse advancement professionals and strengthen your talent pipeline
- Designing processes to continue building an inclusive and supportive environment which will enable you to attract and retain a diverse advancement team
- Recommendations for new approaches to increasing diversity in boards and senior management
We will also provide ongoing consultation as you drive change and growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion, through on-site, video, phone, and email interaction as required and desired.
Please contact Angelique Grant, angelique@
Aspen Leadership Group focuses its leader-to-leader philanthropic culture consulting on three areas:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Advancement
- Women’s Philanthropy
- Philanthropic Partnership and Principal Gifts
All three require organization-wide commitment to changes in established behaviors and approaches. All three present opportunities for transformational rather than simply incremental growth in engagement and fundraising. And they are interdependent: success in any one of these areas supports and is enhanced by success in the others.
Our Approach: Moving leaders through Awareness to Assessment to Aspiration and Action.
On-site workshop or workshops for the advancement team, advancement leaders, academic/programmatic leaders, administrative leaders, and/or board members, coupled with one-on-one or small-group meetings with key leaders and decision makers.
Outcomes: Shared knowledge and understanding of the national landscape, relevant research, and implications for effective engagement and fundraising work, together with shared commitment to change and growth.
On-site, video, and phone consultation, to discover and explore organizational strengths; values; false assumptions and unconscious behaviors that impede progress; gaps; potential; and readiness for change and growth.
Outcomes: A written report addressing strengths, opportunities, and recommended behavioral adaptations and resource allocation, customized to your team and organization.
Aspiration and Action:
On-site, video, phone consultation, and workshops, to develop and implement aspirational, intentional, and measurable plans for improvement.
Outcomes: A written plan followed by guided implementation.
Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with several leading institutions – the University of Florida, Brown University, William & Mary, The Ohio State University, and the University of Texas at Austin – in a groundbreaking talent management effort to enhance the professional growth and career success of current and aspiring advancement professionals from diverse, under-represented, and non-traditional backgrounds.
These institutions are committed not only to hiring diverse candidates, but to supporting them with comprehensive onboarding and training programs, as well as one-on-one career mapping plans, career resources, and growth opportunities.
ALG welcomes nonprofit institutions to partner with us to recruit, support, and retain diverse talent, including organizations in higher education, healthcare, and arts and culture, as well as community services and membership organizations, foundations, institutes, NGOs, and more. Get more information; if your organization is interested in becoming a partner, contact Angelique Grant, Senior Consultant.
We believe that an organization’s capacity to reflect and respond to the rich diversity of our society profoundly impacts its ability to fulfill its mission. Accordingly, we are committed to fostering and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our own company and in partnership with our clients and the individuals we serve.
Our Commitment and Action around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We’re not just talking about diversity; we’re doing something about it. We are committed to this in three ways:
- We focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of the workforce in the nonprofit sector.
- We collaborate with inclusive organizations through the Diversity Talent Partnership to expand diverse networks and learning around DEI.
- We help fundraisers reexamine established practices to engage more diverse potential donors
Produced in collaboration with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, ALG’s Angelique Grant, Ph.D. and Ron Schiller authored the white paper, “Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare Advancement: Changing Behaviors and Outcomes.” The white paper offers recent research and recommendations for all advancement professionals on how new strategies for recruiting talent and engaging the broadest spectrum of potential donors will be required for successful philanthropic engagement.
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Learn More About How Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Can Improve Your Team's Performance
Recruiting and retaining diverse, inclusive teams are business imperatives. Advancement teams that have invested in DEI are bringing new, innovative strategies to the table and engaging more supporters. Learn how your organization can too.