Why is inclusion more complex than diversity?

Companies with diverse workforces perform better financially and we can build a diverse workplace without achieving inclusion. Yet, inclusion remains an enigma, something very complex and hard to achieve. Why? Creating a sense of belonging, or a sense of “usness” requires complex behaviors on the part of both employees and leadership. Building a culture of inclusion within the workplace that respects each employee irrespective of their job title with dignity and acceptance is a hard task.

A study by HR.com “Workplace diversity and inclusion: Emerging awareness and best practices” surveyed over 450 HR professionals and found that companies can improve their D&I performance using the following steps:

  1. Train all employees and every level of leadership. Provide trainings in emotional intelligence (EQ), unconscious bias, supervisory skills, listening skills, problem solving and verbal communications.
  2. Focus on reliable data collection.
  3. Invest in employee engagement through social learning & collaboration.
  4. Leverage internal groups like Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and build allyship programs to give more voice to underrepresented groups in your company.

Role of prospect research in corporate giving

Prospect research is critical in securing corporate & foundation gifts. In every gift I’ve helped secure, I cannot underestimate the effort I’ve invested in  understanding the “giving pulse” of a corporate or foundation entity. Here are some useful takeaways from discussions among prospect researchers and corporate & foundation staff at a recent CASE conference:

  1. Ask intelligent questions. From where did my peer institutions get funding?
  2. What personal connections do we have with the corporation or foundation?
  3. Zero in on who else got what?
  4. Network with peers at similar organizations.
  5. Study the vendor list thoroughly.
  6. Analyze prospects based on institutional priorities, prospect fit and grant amount.
  7. Do not spend too much time on prospect research. If it’s a good fit you will be able to find that out in an hour.
  8. Inform faculty or others seeking funds quickly if your research yields less prospect for funding.
  9. Check giving averages carefully. The mean is tricky, so focus on the typical grant that was given to an organization that was like yours.
  10. Always ask: What problem are you trying to solve? What opportunities are you going to seize?
  11. Do not talk money first, instead focus on the problem and find a solution.