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:
- 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.
- Focus on reliable data collection.
- Invest in employee engagement through social learning & collaboration.
- Leverage internal groups like Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and build allyship programs to give more voice to underrepresented groups in your company.
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:
- Ask intelligent questions. From where did my peer institutions get funding?
- What personal connections do we have with the corporation or foundation?
- Zero in on who else got what?
- Network with peers at similar organizations.
- Study the vendor list thoroughly.
- Analyze prospects based on institutional priorities, prospect fit and grant amount.
- 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.
- Inform faculty or others seeking funds quickly if your research yields less prospect for funding.
- Check giving averages carefully. The mean is tricky, so focus on the typical grant that was given to an organization that was like yours.
- Always ask: What problem are you trying to solve? What opportunities are you going to seize?
- Do not talk money first, instead focus on the problem and find a solution.