Why You Should Make Your Programming As Diverse As the People You Serve

By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.

The level of diversity for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations has been a subject of societal conversation for many years. Even though the nonprofit sector tends to fare better than for-profit organizations in that regard, it still has some diversity issues that should be monitored.

For example, looking at the results of the Community Wealth Papers study in 2015, we can see that only 8% of executive directors in the nonprofit sector were people of color. The lack of diversity in leadership can create challenges when a nonprofit is striving to serve a diverse mix of people, who might not feel sufficiently represented. Let’s have a closer look at why you should make your programming as different as the people you serve:

A Culture of Inclusion Helps Everyone

More often than not, one of the best ways to ensure more diversity in your program is to have diverse talent working on it. Every nonprofit organization can benefit significantly from adopting a culture of inclusion. Some of the steps to achieve it may include creating diversity goals for the organization and incorporating them into its strategic plan. That sets diversity on equal footing with other, external objectives of the organization, and makes it one of the priorities.

Sometimes organizations might work with consultants to help them improve their internal processes of fostering diversity and encouraging open-mindedness with existing organization members. There are many ways to nurture diversity within an organization which ultimately contributes to creating more diverse programs.

Committing to Diversity Provides Unique Perspectives

Those nonprofit organizations that have a mission to work in a spirit of diversity often have more success in making the people they serve feel more represented.

With organization members having such a wide array of background and coming from different walks of life, it can do wonders for an organization that needs as many unique perspectives as possible to create a program. Those perspectives benefit those that the program is meant to help. By committing to diversity, nonprofits are ensuring that they’re doing a better job of helping.

Diverse and Inclusive Programming Can Make a Difference

Finally, inclusiveness and diversity in the nonprofit programs themselves can genuinely make the difference in the lives of those they are meant to help. They also clearly demonstrate the values of your organization, instead of merely remain sitting on a page stating your values but never applying them.

By ensuring that your programs encourage and empower those who need it most, you’ll be exercising your organization’s fundamental values and becoming an inspiration to other organizations that want to follow in your footsteps. However, the most critical effect of diversity and inclusiveness coming from your organizational culture and beliefs is that it might be what your organization needs to make a difference in someone’s life indeed.

Nonprofits should strive to make their programming as diverse as the people they serve since that will ensure organizations can help people better.

Here at Turnaround Life, Inc., we aim to help organizations and programs that make it possible for people to turn their lives around. For more information about us, visit our website.