The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently released an insights report on how nonprofits can create an inclusive workplace that values diversity, equity and inclusion. Most nonprofits across the country recognize the importance of diversity and are striving to create and retain a diverse, engaged workforce. 

Simultaneously, the U.S. is also facing great labor shortages – between 10 and 11 million jobs have remained open for the last few months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To create a workplace that values DEI in a market that does not favor the employer, take the steps below or read the full report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.



1) Examine recruiting and interviewing. 

Try looking in new places for new hires, instead of hiring from the same pool. For example, try posting jobs on sites such as the African American Development Officers Network.  Emphasize diversity prominently in the job descriptions and in the interview, and be transparent about salary ranges.  

2) Support new hires. 

Ninety percent of new hires will decide whether or not to remain at their new position within 6 months. To help the transition, employ mentorships or peer buddy systems. Also, always be considering succession planning – BVU can help through our nonprofit consulting services. Some nonprofits have found success with shared leadership to manage the learning curve of becoming a nonprofit’s new CEO.

3) Ensure pay equity. 

In 2017, 93% highest paying jobs were occupied by white people. To combat any pay gaps, it is important to be transparent about pay starting with job postings and to never offer promotions without raises. 

4) Empower staff to share views. 

Engage your board of directors or trustees to help them understand the organization or host meetings for leaders to hear feedback from staff.

5) Share decision making power.

Leaders can host “office hours” for any employee to discuss ideas or concerns. In your leadership team, involve a cross-section of employees from different areas of the organization. 

6) Know that lasting change takes time and practice. 

Making DEI part of your organization’s DNA can take time and there may be hiccups along the way.

Need help with your DEI initiatives? Let BVU know.