Request a Demo

Contact Sales

Get Pricing


How Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives Can Benefit Your Nonprofit

Discover how iMIS EMS supports DEI efforts to support non-profit mission objectives and improve overall member services.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives aim to reduce systemic biases, create more inclusive environments, and promote diversity. All of these are invaluable to nonprofit organizations, regardless of their particular focus. Having DEI steps in place goes a long way toward growing your nonprofit, providing a more significant impact, and gaining much-needed perspective from people with different backgrounds.

DEI initiatives seek to include individuals with differing social, cultural, orientation, racial, physical, and gender backgrounds. Taking these steps is a meaningful movement towards better hiring practices, fundraising methods, and the growth of your nonprofit.

Inclusion is more important than a regulatory box you have to check, even though that’s how some of these initiatives start. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, DEI helps nonprofits advance equity, plan for the future, and take full advantage of opportunities. When you realize that DEI initiatives are big steps towards mission alignment, larger social influence, and more impactful decision-making protocols, you’ll be quick to initiate them at your nonprofit.

iMIS — the world's leading Engagement Management System (EMS) — supports DEI in nonprofits and associations. We’ll look at some of the tools iMIS offers to facilitate this transition and increase the effectiveness of your DEI efforts.


Benefits of DEI for Nonprofits and Associations

DEI policies are more than just diversity initiatives for anti-discrimination practices. Going beyond that will enhance your understanding of DEI initiatives and what they can truly do for your nonprofit.  

These actions can help organizations like yours connect with their employees, volunteers, and the individuals for whom they seek to advocate. A nonprofit should be as representative of its community as possible, and that representation will go a long way towards furthering the nonprofit’s own goals. Additionally, your community will benefit most from a nonprofit that acts in its best interests by being receptive and representative.  

Look at all these ways DEI practices can benefit your organization:

Improved Mission Alignment


Prioritizing DEI helps mission-driven organizations recruit employees and members that reflect the unique characteristics of their stakeholders. As a result, the inclusion of DEI practices can provide energy, empathy, and cohesion by uniting a variety of different people through the pursuit of a shared mission.


Higher Financial Returns

Icons22- Financials Accounting -centeredDEI initiatives implemented in both fundraising and hiring can only improve your outreach and its financial results. The more diverse your outreach team (employees, volunteers, donors, etc.), the more networks your nonprofit has the opportunity to reach. When you start interacting with diverse groups, you find people who share the same passion for your cause, sometimes in places you never expected. By examining your organization’s biases, you may realize you’re not even searching for funding within certain communities or demographics, severely limiting the change you can enact with valuable funds.


Anti-Discrimination vs. DEI Initiatives

Icons-_UnionsWhether it’s about the gender gap or racial representation disparities in the workplace, by enacting DEI initiatives, you are doing more than proactively insulating your nonprofit against discrimination issues. Anti-discrimination laws are there to defend against intentional employment decisions informed by bias. DEI initiatives utilize dialogue, open forums, and analysis to uncover unconscious biases and attempt to overcome them for the better.


Improved Member Services

ID iconImplementing DEI enhances the member experience by helping organizations build a culture where members feel valued, respected, and heard. Besides establishing trust and loyalty, inclusive communities foster increased engagement and participation. Additionally, the engagement your nonprofit will receive from a community that feels heard and represented will be so much more impactful and effective.  

Embracing diversity additionally causes more innovation and creativity informed by different experiences and perspectives. As a result, this can lead to an enhanced membership experience where services are continuously upgraded to reflect the changing needs of members.


How iMIS Supports Your DEI Efforts

iMIS strives to support all your DEI efforts. With a unique set of tools, iMIS implements and tracks DEI steps throughout your organization. DEI initiatives don’t occur at just one layer of your nonprofit. No team, job position, or even executive or board member is exempt from DEI initiatives - that’s why tracking at every stage is integral to the initiatives' success.

The difficult part is determining where to begin. Only once you’ve started will you be able to learn your nonprofit’s DEI hurdles and the best way to overcome them to enact lasting change. By using iMIS EMS, you’re more than capable of tracking the implementation and efficacy of your DEI steps. By utilizing the tools provided, your team will be able to manage members, events, fundraising, marketing, content, and more.

Laptop displaying a member profile

Features that enable your team to add and manage DEI-specific member data include:

Flexible Options to Change Demographic Fields

Sliders iconDemographic characteristics change over time. iMIS gives you the flexibility to tailor demographic fields to suit the needs of your organization without having to spend time and money on intense customizations. For example, you can easily configure these options:  

  • Increase inclusivity by changing radio buttons to multi-select checkboxes in fields such as ethnicity
  • Add inclusive gender options
  • Provide functionality that allows members to include preferred pronouns on their profiles
  • Modify title and designation fields to meet your member needs 


Dashboards That Track DEI Efforts or Baselines

Icons-_EngagementScoringiMIS allows you to set up dashboards to track almost any business activity, including DEI efforts or baselines. iMIS dashboards can help you quickly view data to help turn DEI metrics into visualized data. By seeing data trends and patterns in an iMIS dashboard, organizations can make data-based decisions from patterns and trends. Examples of DEI baselines you can track include member age, gender, income level, and more.


Choices to Make Fields Optional

Icons-_PersonalizedWebExperience-cropNot all stakeholders want to share their demographic information. iMIS gives you the ability to make fields optional to support members who are not comfortable sharing personal data.


Implementing DEI brings you all these benefits — and more.

The effectiveness of mission-oriented organizations depends on their ability to understand the communities they serve. DEI policies enable nonprofits and associations to develop stronger connections with stakeholders by recruiting individuals with characteristics that reflect those communities.

DEI practices additionally benefit membership organizations by enabling them to create an inclusive environment that encourages engagement and participation. Start or strengthen your DEI initiatives with this guide from the National Council of Nonprofits.

iMIS helps bring it all together with a cloud-based membership management system that features tools to support your DEI efforts. Features include flexible options to customize demographic fields, personalized dashboards that track DEI baselines, and tools to make fields optional for members that want to keep their information private.

Similar posts