BVU’s Commitment to IDEA:

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

In order to achieve our vision of a vibrant and inclusive community​ through business volunteerism, Business Volunteers Unlimited​ (BVU) will be a more informed and inclusive voice in Northeast​ Ohio with Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) as​ core values. BVU will commit to transparency and innovation in our​ decision-making and embrace feedback. Collectively, we will lead in​ a transformative way by welcoming and attracting diverse people,​ ideas, and partnerships for an equitable future. We will strive to​ embed IDEA into our culture, our strategic plan, and our work with​ businesses, nonprofits, volunteers, and the community.

What We Believe

How We Make a Difference

Nonprofit boards should represent the communities they serve. The Minority Pipeline Initiative matches individuals of color to nonprofit boards at no cost.
Young professionals bring value to nonprofit boards. Linking New Leaders is a fast-paced networking event that connects nonprofit leaders and young professionals to facilitate a perfect board match.
Volunteering — and volunteers — should be accessible to all. BVU’s Volunteer Center is a free platform that connects individuals ready to make a difference (of all backgrounds, abilities, and ages) to nonprofits in need of help.
Retired professionals have immense talent to share. BVU’S Fellows Program match retired professionals to nonprofit organizations to help them build capacity.
Cost should not be a barrier to nonprofits in need of support. BVU offers many free resources for nonprofits such as Ask the Expert sessions and educational webinars.

BVU’s Minority Pipeline Initiative

Connecting people of color to nonprofit boards

On average, people of color hold only 18% of nonprofit board seats throughout the country. Ensuring proper representation in the nonprofit board space is crucial to BVU’s mission.

Since 2008, our acclaimed nonprofit board matching and training services have been offered at absolutely no cost to professionals of color through the Minority Pipeline Initiative.

Timeline of BVU’s IDEA Initiatives

2008: Minority Pipeline Initiative (MPI) Launches

BVU begins to offer our acclaimed nonprofit board matching and training services for FREE to racially diverse professionals with the goal of increasing diversity in board rooms across Northeast Ohio.

20XX: BVU partners with Gradient

Recognizing the importance of external expertise, BVU engages Gradient to guide and enhance our IDEA efforts, ensuring a comprehensive and well-informed approach to our initiatives.

20XX: BVU forms IDEA Committee and Task Force

BVU establishes two internal IDEA groups: a Task Force on our staff and Committee on our board. Each plays a pivotal role in driving IDEA goals and fostering a culture of inclusivity at BVU.

IDEA Board Committee

  • The IDEA Task Force on BVU’s Board of Directors becomes an official Committee in 2023. Their goals for BVU include reaching 25% racial diversity within BVU’s own board and continuing to establish meaningful relationships with nonprofits and businesses led by various underrepresented communities, especially racial minorities.

IDEA @ BVU Task Force

  • The internal staff task force meets quarterly and organizes quarterly IDEA webinars, topics include Exploring Implicit Bias, LGBTQIA+ Allyship in the Workplace, Disability Etiquette and Inclusion, and Strengthening Civil Discourse. Lunch vendors are thoughtfully chosen to support Black- and women-owned businesses, as well as establishments that provide employment opportunities for community members who face workforce barriers such as formerly incarcerated persons and individuals with disabilities.

2023: ‘Intro to Nonprofit Board Service’ Webinars Begin

BVU partners with local cultural organizations such as the NAACP and ASIA to host educational webinars about nonprofit board service for racially diverse groups.


BVU continues to work with community partners to provide relevant opportunities internally and externally to advance our IDEA goals. This includes finding innovative ways to increase the racial diversity of our board matching participants (to build on last year’s achievement of 27%).

Our Partners in IDEA

BVU’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility work is furthered by the expertise of various partners. Here are some of the incredible organizations we’ve worked with in the last few years:

Upcoming Sessions

Let’s Talk

Have thoughts on how our programs or services can better reflect our commitment to IDEA? Please let us know!