Part 2 - Making The Case


The more aligned your case is with the concerns of the people evaluating it, the more likely you will win their support for the initiative. 

  • You’ll want to show management and your board how the initiative carries out the strategic plan, or reinforces organizational values. Maybe it has a positive impact on the budget or the organization’s viability.
  • Your board might be particularly concerned about ensuring succession or developing fundraising. 
  • Your team might be most interested in how diverse perspectives will improve relationships and dynamics, or working conditions.
  • And don’t forget the funders – they have to abide by government legislation, funding policies and may actually require you to have policies in place to meet these or specific program objectives.

Once you get into the planning, here are some of the elements you could use to think about your initiative:

  • The key components of your diversity and inclusion initiative, including a high-level overview of main activities
  • The resources needed for your initiative -  staff, money, time, space, tools, and expertise (outline what’s already in place as well as which other organizations might have some of these resources and could partner or share)
  • The best person to lead the initiative
  • The  timeline


Benefits and Risks

You’ll also need to think about the potential benefits as well as possible risks and how to address anybody’s concerns.

What are some of the benefits you can see?

  • In the workplace – existing employees feel valued; new people bring new experiences and skills and help to strengthen decision-making
  • Financial – connections to expanded audiences or more donors, compliance with funders’ criteria
  • Reputational – organization is seen as leader, good place to work at or partner with

Instituting inclusivity initiatives also carries some risks. Think about how you would address:

  • New “diverse” hires or board members feel ‘token’, i.e. don’t feel welcome or supported
  • Current employees/members feel pushed out
  • Fear of saying the wrong thing/political correctness
  • Increased friction within workplace
  • Time taken away from more urgent tasks or operational tasks

At this early stage, it’s good to start thinking about the targets you would like to achieve and how you would measure them. In small organizations, it can be difficult to carry out elaborate evaluations. Keep it simple – measure only what you need to or what you are being asked for.