Tag Archives: inclusion

How to Make the Most of Your Donor Prospect Research
How to Make the Most of Your Donor Prospect Research

Donor prospect research is no easy task, and takes a lot of time and effort. Selecting the right donor(s) are important, as their contributions are a direct reflection of your organization’s mission and goals. Prospect research is a great opportunity to learn more about potential or existing donors’ personal backgrounds, history of giving, indicators of wealth, their philanthropic motivations, and so on. You’re able to get a better gauge on a donor’s ability to give, and if they align with your nonprofits objectives and values. 

What is the best way to find prospects?

There are three main ways you can conduct your prospect research:

  • DIY. If you feel like you can find the right prospects using your own search methods, then go for it! This method won’t cost you any money, although it is a long and tedious process. Especially if you’re a one man show or doing research with a small team, there’s only so much information you can sift through between all the social networks and government and private databases. 
  • Use a consultant (hint hint, us)! Consultants have the knowledge and resources to find you the best prospects. They can also help train your staff on prospect research, develop research strategies, and build relationships in prospect relations.
  • Hire a prospecting company. If you’re looking to be almost completely hands off, then hiring a prospecting company is the way to go. They’ll be able to handle everything from start to finish, so you have more time to focus on other tasks. 

How do you know which prospects to screen? 

Each prospect will be unique in its appeal to you. But the first factor to consider is how large their past donations have been, as it’s a good indicator for what they could donate in the future. If the donation amounts don’t seem to align with your organization, give it a pass. Also, look to see if there are any personal or business contacts at the organization you can reach out to. A little networking never hurts anyone, and it’s a great way to start building a relationship with your prospects. You’ll also want to look out for consistency. How often is the organization donating? Is the amount they give consistent based on the nonprofits size? 

How do you utilize the research? 

Once you have the research, there are a few steps you want to take in ensuring you’re utilizing it properly. 

  1. Create an organized, centralized place for your research. Whether it’s Google Docs, spreadsheets, a project management app, etc, make sure you’re conducting research in a way that is organized and easy to reference. 
  2. Dissect the research. What factors are most important for your nonprofit when considering donors? Maybe it’s the amount they’re willing to donate, or their organization’s mission statement and values. 
  3. Make a plan to reach out. Once you have a prospects data, how do you plan to reach out? What does your timeline look like, and what methods of communication might work best for each donor?

Does your nonprofit need help with donor prospect research? RBW Strategy has you covered! Using a proven approach for success, we can help by performing detailed research to determine potential foundation, government and/or corporate funding prospects. Visit our services page to learn more!

diversity and inclusion
diversity and inclusion

In response to the prevalent racial injustice matters going on worldwide, many organizations have taken proactive measures to update their diversity and inclusion policies. In an effort to provide relevance and credibility, many organizations have released these initiatives quickly — but are not considering some key issues. 

Topics of diversity and inclusion are complicated and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s easy for leaders at an organization to make assumptions about the root cause of their employees’ problems, rather than putting in the effort to conduct proper research. The last thing you want to do is make false promises or provide surface level statements that cannot be backed up with specific actions. 

The success of diversity and inclusion programs will come to do the work of upper management (and we don’t just mean HR). Successful programs like these should be backed by measurable goals and targets, and consistently re-evaluated and adjusted by the leadership team. 

We’ve taken some time to evaluate diversity and inclusion policies of nonprofit organizations and found a few common areas that can be improved. 

  1. A lack of data collection.

    As we stated above, it’s easy for leaders to make assumptions on the root causes of employee dissatisfaction, rather than taking actionable steps to gather employee feedback. We highly recommend sending out employee satisfaction surveys on at least a 6-month basis. In fact, A UK report shows that evidence-based hiring practices are the most effective approaches to better results in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Having anonymous surveys will allow employees to open up more and admit their concerns more candidly. As the saying goes: numbers don’t lie! Employee satisfaction surveys are the most fair and credible ways of gathering employee feedback.

  2. Bias in the hiring process.

    In some cases, there seems to be a disconnect in the “quick fixes” an organization releases and their hiring process. For example, an organization may send out a list of diversity and inclusion resource groups, training courses, etc to their employees, but avoid those practices in the hiring process. It has to come from the top down! The best way to leave personal bias out of the hiring process is to ensure that hiring personnel don’t get to irrelevant personal details, like age, gender, ethnicity, and so on. 

  1. Using the “cop out” method when hiring leadership.

    It seems logical to hire a person of color into a leadership position to help address diversity and inclusion issues. But despite the beliefs of some organizations, that’s not enough. The leadership team as a whole should be diverse, not just one person. True diversity comes from having a unique set of backgrounds, and that can’t fall onto one person. It’s important that diversity is a part of the talent pipeline throughout the company, not a one time deal. And that process will require careful and thorough change in the talent acquisition system.

  2. Diversity and inclusion are important — but don’t oversell it.

    The last thing you want to do is set overly ambitious targets without a real plan in place. Internal targets your organization creates should involve managers, executives, employees, and other stakeholders so that the initiatives are owned, not thrown upon them. 

What steps has your organization taken to ensure diversity and inclusion policies are implemented properly? Leave us a comment below! 

If you’re a nonprofit applying for grants and need help conveying your organizations diversity and inclusion policies, we can help! Visit our services page for more information. 

image including diversity equity and inclusion
image including diversity equity and inclusionAt RBW Strategy, we will forever stand behind and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. This has been an incredibly uneasy, confusing, yet powerful time to make a change. While times are turbulent, it is often these unsettling moments that open our eyes and kick our brains into high gear. As we support nonprofit space, it’s our focus and duty to advance social welfare by accepting responsibility for implementing effective management practices and holding each other accountable to our communities.

We believe actions speak louder than words, and the first step in those actions is acknowledging intersectionality. But how do we turn those acknowledgments into conversations? And how do those conversations become deeply rooted morals and core values that your organization lives by? Based on our work with nonprofits and their work with diverse populations and people of color, we want to reiterate some of their best practices.

  1. Know that every space is not your space. It is important for those who are privileged to understand that not every space is their space to occupy. People of color need places where they can gather and be free from the mainstream stereotypes and disempowerment that take over other societal spaces the privileged occupy. Fostering and respecting spaces for people of color, LGBTQ, and disabled people to be with others who share their identity and unique challenges, is an important responsibility if you are committed to equity. These group spaces are not segregation; they’re solidarity. In the same respect, it is important that these groups feel comfortable talking freely, transparently, and candidly with everyone in the organization.
  2. Put the right people in place to make a change. As organizations begin their journey towards greater equity, they must think carefully about leadership, and who will work best together to create positive outcomes. In organizations that are majority-white, executives will oftentimes hire a person of color to address the organization’s lack of diversity. Although this can be incredibly beneficial, it can also be daunting, as this person is tasked with changing deeply rooted norms and practices with little authority or training. Directors, CEOs, and Presidents alike should be conscious of the dynamics of oppression in the organization and be equally as committed to making change.
  3. Strip the hierarchy and make room for feedback. Most organizations are structured in some sort of hierarchy. These structures are helpful for streamlining the flow of communication and putting decision making power in the hands of those in specific roles. However, in the case of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, new models of leadership that share structural power have proved to be a fundamental step in decision-making. In other words, collaborative leadership means including your beneficiaries in decisions that impact them. In addition, your organization should have concrete tactics for gathering and listening to all perspectives in the workplace, as people might not always be apt to come forward on their own to share their opinions.
  4. Educate yourself. Especially in the convoluted media world we live in, it’s easy to surround yourself only with those who are like-minded. In the same sense, social media tends to reinforce those viewpoints, therefore extending our bias. To counteract this way of thinking, start finding town halls and allyship trainings in your area. If you cannot find in-person trainings right now, see what you can find online. As humans, we become too prideful. We become closed off to new ways of thinking because it’s uncomfortable. Go forward with a willingness to learn, and accept that your viewpoints will be challenged.

The journey towards great diversity, equity, and inclusion is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t have a fixed end point, and obstacles will occur at every turning point. But the results are not intangible. It is incumbent on nonprofits to demonstrate a real commitment to diversity and inclusion by ensuring their board members and leadership teams reflect their local communities and the populations they serve.


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