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Rethinking “Cultural Fit” In Advancement Recruitment

The success of advancement work depends on engaging all potential constituents as fully as possible. Most nonprofits would benefit from increased cultural competency—the ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with people with cultural backgrounds different from one’s own—in order to engage more constituents more fully. A more diverse workforce has a greater capacity to strengthen a team’s and organization’s overall cultural competency.

If you’ve been involved in hiring, chances are you’ve heard a colleague use the term “cultural fit” when evaluating a candidate. Authors Steven Wallace and Ron Schiller suggest rethinking the notion of “fit” in order to minimize bias in recruitment, think more expansively about what is needed for the team’s overall cultural competency, and produce better outcomes for the organization.

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Effective Recruitment Depends on Viewing Diversity as an Engagement and Fundraising Imperative

Diverse pools are a means to an end. Building diverse teams, while involving more intention than building diverse pools, is also only a means to an end. It takes diverse teams, working in an inclusive culture, and making the diversity of the team count, to engage more stakeholders and raise more money. Diversity is not only a moral imperative—the “right thing to do”—it is a business imperative for everyone involved in nonprofit leadership and philanthropy: boards, volunteers, CEOs, C-suite leaders, and engagement and fundraising professionals. Until everyone involved in the recruitment process understands and can articulate diversity as essential to stakeholder engagement and fundraising outcomes, recruitment efforts will fall short.

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New Book – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Advancement: A Guide to Strengthening Engagement and Fundraising Through Inclusion

Progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of philanthropy is long overdue. To help move the needle, Angelique Grant and Ron Schiller have authored the first comprehensive book on DEI specifically for nonprofits and advancement teams. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Guide to Strengthening Engagement and Fundraising Through Inclusion is now live in the CASE Bookstore. The book offers a guide for building inclusive cultures and teams. It explores how to implement a culture of DEI, recruit, onboard, and retain diverse staff, and integrate DEI into fundraising campaigns. ALG looks forward to sharing this new resource with our partners to create sustained behavioral change in the field of advancement.

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Making the Case for Your Candidacy

Our team has found that applicants who build a strong case for their candidacy are often the most successful in advancing in the search process. In the same way that fundraisers leverage relationship management skills and a tailored strategy to each engagement, candidates should apply those principles to each job application. ALG’s search management team offers candid advice to candidates so that they can build their strongest case and increase their chances of securing rewarding roles.

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A Broader Definition of Philanthropy by Women

Current fundraising practices often only focus on the treasure – what is a donor’s capacity to give? When we expand the definition of philanthropy beyond Treasure to also include Time, Talent, Ties, and Testimony, we increase our number of supporters and leaders, especially women.

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Chronicle of Philanthropy: How a DE&I Audit Can Help Organizations Move from Awareness to Action

Organizations often overestimate how included those they serve and employ really feel in the mission. A diversity audit can help bring those true feelings to light, says Dr. Angelique Grant at the Aspen Leadership Group. Grant leads these audits and says it’s essential that nonprofits focus on equity and inclusion — not just diversity. “If you have an organization [where] no one feels included or a sense of belonging or wanting to be there, it doesn’t matter how diverse you are,” she said. “Once you’ve identified whatever the obstacles are, it sets you up for moving from awareness to action.” Read more about how grantmakers and nonprofits can be accountable and transparent with their DE&I efforts in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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From Commitment to Action: Applying an Inclusive Lens to Advancement

More fundraising leaders are embracing inclusion and want to train their teams on diversity, equity and inclusion. But are we adapting our actions by applying a DE&I lens to our advancement practices? Williams College and William & Mary demonstrated success when they adopted inclusive fundraising strategies. Now the philanthropy sector must develop new skills and change behaviors to achieve similar long-term results.

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