Thanks to everyone who attended our session at 22NTC last week! The session and deck are available online for registrants for the next three months.

We received a couple questions in the chat that we thought warranted longer replies as well as additional resources that we weren't able to take care of during the session. Those questions and our answers are below. Let us know if you have any further questions, and of course please share if you found this useful. And thanks again to those who were able to join us!

Merc (He/Him) Hello, if I were writing a short, welcoming paragraph and didn't want to miss anyone, is there an example resource for some text to help make sure we include everyone we can? For example, I was to say 'Here at [blank] we welcome people of all orientations, gender, color, ability, etc...' But I don't want to have the 'etc' part.

I would use the space to talk specifically about how the space is welcoming, e.g. for a physical space you could talk about an available prayer room, private space for breast/chestfeeding and permitted everywhere, no dress code, ramp at the entrance and elevator by reception, nametags for pronouns, family bathrooms and people can use whichever bathroom they wish, all spaces are child-friendly, restorative justice process, inclusion officer who can review/address concerns, and so on. For digital spaces, you can talk about that as well, like forms including pronouns, image descriptions and large font, having staff that mirrors the communities of our clients, the specific hiring policies and practices that are actually inclusive of diverse candidates, to name a few.

The reason I suggest this approach is twofold:

Firstly, if you try to list everyone you are inclusive of, you will likely miss out on some or accidentally cause further division or even exclusion. Terminology is constantly changing and not agreed on by everyone. Should you include every letter in 2SLGBTQIA+? Does it matter if some people have preferences by what letters are included and the order they are put in? If you want to say you’re inclusive of people of all sizes and body types, should you use the word “fat,” which is generally preferred by fat people as a neutral descriptor, but which many non-fat people are uncomfortable with? If you remove the list, you avoid getting bogged down in details that may not be clear in those communities themselves, because clearly many communities are large and not everyone shares the same opinion.

Secondly, there has long been a tendency for companies and organizations to learn how to talk the talk very well, but they don’t also walk the walk. While anyone can make a nice generic list saying they welcome everyone, it’s actually more insightful for someone who might not feel welcome to learn about what tangible differences have been made. For example, including image descriptions for every photo on the website, providing a payer room, instituting pay transparency, etc. are much more indicative to me that the people in that space are interested in inclusion.

Sadie (She/her): What can I use to convince board and ED buy in on DEI when they are citing cost as prohibitive? For instance, I'd like to have our print materials (at least a few key ones) translated (at least to Spanish) but because our audience is only 6% Spanish-speaking I am told it doesn't make sense fiscally.

The best answer is that if you have a significant population of Spanish speakers in your community, providing translations is the right thing to do to be inclusive. However, it sounds like the board is looking for a revenue-based response. Accordingly: if 6% of supporters now are Spanish-speaking, it will likely increase with translations, especially given that older generations are more likely give and also may be less comfortable with multiple languages. In addition, look at the gap the between Spanish-speaking population and the 6% who support you: if 20% of the population is Spanish-speaking, it indicates something isn’t landing, and frankly lack of translations could make a huge difference. Imagine it’s the 1970s and a car dealership says only 6% of their customers are women: is it because women don’t buy cars, or because when they try to they aren’t seen as “serious customers.” (In response, they bring a man with them next time, and the man is seen as the purchaser even though it’s the woman driving the purchase. ….Pun intended.) In essence, your board is saying it’s not worth it, when some data could actually illustrate the money being left on the table: if you currently have 6% Spanish-speaking and the population is 20%; let’s say that 6% is 100 donors, and 20% would be 330 donors. So the 14% not supporting you now works out to 230 donors, and if average gift is $40, that’s $9200 you could get if you engaged the Spanish speaking population—$9200 every year.    

As well, surveys can help, especially if those 6% who are supporters note barriers or highlight other ways to increase inclusion, which can further boost your engagenment and your revenue.

Sadie (She/her) I am starting to believe that my org is more of a B2B type org. When considering audience, should i be looking at the hospitals we serve as members or the public that they are using our materials to reach? [Both] our members are hospitals and EMS agencies [reach out to us] but we also provide injury prevention information to the public in our state. I am struggling with defining audiences and how to access, welcome, and represent them.

[Original response] Kyla (she/her): @Sadie personas can help! Developing a 'persona' for each audience can help identify approaches that can work for each. And then you can build a plan that is tailored for each as well. But Chris and Alex will likely have some thoughts too

Jerry: Any persona creation reference material to share?

Personas are a general idea of the type of person who donates to your organization, to help provide clarity on which approaches are best for things like messaging, channels, geographic and demographic targeting, etc. For example, one nonprofit may have a donor profile of urban/rural, 55-75 years old, either retired or retiring soon, likes to travel and garden. Another org, perhaps focussed on education for young children, may skew younger, more urban, slightly different type of hobbies.

For this organization, they may need two personas: for example, the hospital employees may be 30 to 50, professional health care providers, who live within this municipal boundary and are driven by information; and for injury prevention, you might know that it tends to be older adults who lives on their own or with a partner, within  a larger geographic area, who are mostly concerned with their quality of life. That could inform two types of messaging, and two different approaches to sharing that; for example, you could work with the hospital’s comms team or reach out to professional organizations; and then for injury prevention, you could work on strategies that involve smaller, community-based groups like a newspaper or local retiree association.

Note this is of course based on information from your database, in a nuanced analysis of donor data that doesn’t “average” but looks at “most likely” and of course is dependant on how much you know about your donors and how it is tracked.

Patricia (She/Her): How do you usually create a marketing campaign from scratch

This is quite a question! There are fundraising programs that might teach you this in a few months or years. However, for a simplified breakdown, you can check out our Campaign First one-pager we mentioned during the session. Note the page asks you sign up for emails but you can of course unsubscribe; or don’t check the box and you can still download the Campaign First document.