Diversity to Inclusion: Two ways to open your doors and reach new communities

When Columbus ‘discovered’ America, he added hugely to Europe’s understand of the scope and size of the world and the variety of people in it. He did not invent America but he did uncover it for his time and his people.

As fund development professionals, we may well occupy a world we know and are comfortable in and hear tell of other ‘worlds’ without being sure what lies there and if we should go.

We often say in North America that we are all immigrants. Indigenous Peoples may disagree, however.

We do know that our cities and towns are constantly renewing with new immigrant groups that change the mix of our communities by race, religion and culture.

I think most of know that we should widen our tent and include new populations. We ask what is involved. Will I fail? And, of course, is it worth the risk?

Lots, yes and yes!

We also know if we stop and think about it that not all or our neighbours are equally involved as volunteers, advocates and donors and that those not in the room are not always new immigrants. They may well be from populations that have been here all along. First Nations are an obvious example.

Historic populations, be they the old Hispanic settlements in New Mexico, French Canadians, African Americans and others that may have settles many years ago yet remain distinct may not be fairly represented in our donor lists taking into account their numbers.

This is the answer to why we offer not one but two sessions on diversity this month. Reaching Diverse Communities offers case studies and successes reaching new populations such as Muslim Canadians, Sikh and Tamil. None of the above has been truly brought in to our traditions of philanthropy. What is their tradition of giving? Tune in May 2 to learn with Sharon Lee CFRE and Parag Tandon.

On May 23, Opening Your Door to Diversity includes three presenters who can enlighten us on African American Giving, Indigenous Culture of Philanthropy and involving Hispanic populations in our causes. In this instance, the focus is on education. That are many transferable lessons here whether you work with their communities or not.

This month is diversity month at ConnieHubbs.com. I hope to see you online for both of these sessions.


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