In the latest in our positive news series, we take a look at the ways charities and not-for-profits are becoming more inclusive
From new guides to make your website accessible to ways to widen the diversity of your board of trustees, below are some of ways that charities and not-for-profits are becoming more inclusive.
Making your website accessible is a key action towards your charity being more inclusive. Access, the charity software provider, released a new resource hub to help charities make the most of their web content, including a section on accessibility.
The Successful Charity Website Playbook offers information and guidance on how to make your content speak to diverse and varied audiences, including people with disabilities.
As well as explaining why website accessibility is so important (in the UK over 19% of working-age adults have a disability and 46% of pension-aged adults) it includes helpful guidance on design, code, and content.
When the RNID rebranded in 2020, inclusivity formed the basis of its rebrand concept – with its brand purpose being: ‘Together, we will make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus’.
The concept of togetherness and inclusivity underpins every element of the new branding, including purpose, language, and imagery. And to develop the new brand, RNID put deaf people, those with hearing loss, and those with tinnitus at the heart of its consultation process.
The formerly named Action on Hearing Loss, worked with Moorcroft Market Research, who used carefully designed research in order to be fully inclusive. For example, it ran moderating groups using BSL interpreters and included BSL video clips in online surveys.
In 2017, the Charity Commission found that 92% of charity trustees were white, older, and above average in terms of income and education, while 71% of charity chairs were men.
To help charities take real and sustainable moves to increase racial diversity on trustee boards, Action for Trustee Racial Diversity is publishing a new guide in September 2021. From Here to Diversity: A practical guide for recruiting Black and Asian Charity Trustees is unique in that it is the first to focus specifically on racial diversity in charity boards.
Saheliya is an example of how to do it right. The charity provides a specialist support service for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women living in Scotland, and all its directors are women from BAME communities.
This gives in-depth understanding of what their service users are facing, meaning services can successfully match users’ needs. It also offers Champions for Change training to equip girls and women with the skills and knowledge to have their voices heard – whether at events, conferences or one-to-ones with politicians and service providers.
Racial bias can start early on in life – even by the age of five. IPG DXTRA is helping to tackle this and open up conversations between parents and children. Its public awareness campaign, ‘Dear White Parents’, encourages white parents to talk with their children about racism, and to do so often and from an early age.
The campaign was created with support from WE ARE (an anti-racism non-profit) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Alongside a film, the campaign includes resources and discussion guides tailored for specific age groups.
The ADL (a leading anti-hate organisation in the US) created a guide to support parents to discuss the topics raised in the film.
In July 2020, #BAMEOnline brought together funraisers and charity workers for the first ever BAME fundraising conference. Curated by Martha Awojobi (former Charity So White organiser) and hosted by Fundraising Everywhere the conference brought together 45 speakers from the UK and US – all BAME fundraising leaders.
The British Red Cross booked its entire staff of 4,000 onto the conference and its follow-up, #BAMEOnline 2.0, was held in July 2021.
Talking about race can be uncomfortable. But with the charity sector being notoriously white, we need to be having those crucial conversations. While there is a long way to go, there are more resources available to help have potentially difficult discussions.
In June 2021, CharityComms held a seminar about The role of comms in building an anti-racist brand. The seminar, which included a session by Jonathan Cornejo from Charity So White, looked at how as charities we can build anti-racism into the fabric of our work.
And at our own Be More Digital conference in March 2021, Deborah Asante, Leadership and Development Coach, led a workshop to better equip charity professionals to have open and constructive discussions about race – because one of the key ways to tackle systemic racism is to have honest conversations.