All Right, “Color-Blind” Colleagues, We Need to Have a Talk

In my work and travels I’ve met some really incredible people doing amazing stuff. Every meeting, every trip restores my faith in our sector, as well as replenishes my office’s supply of pens and chapsticks from various exhibitors at conferences.

But once a while, I encounter people who are “color-blind,” who say things like:

  • “Vu, I love what you say about nonprofits needing to be more inclusive. You know, I have a grown son who has diverse friends. And he has never once referred to his friends by their skin color characteristics. Not once. I think it’s wonderful that he just doesn’t see color.”

Why We Need to Stop Asking “What Do You Do?”

A while ago, while I was seeking input for a post on how we can all be more disability-inclusive, a colleague mentioned that we should drop the get-to-know-you question “What do you do?” because people with disabilities face significant employment discrimination, and this question is often a painful reminder of that. Another colleague of mine who is brilliant and talented and hilarious and wheelchair-enabled told me she spent seven years searching before someone hired her. I can imagine all the times during those seven years when people asked her “What do you do?” and how she must have felt. This has made me think of the “to-do” culture that we have and how it’s been affecting our work.

Everyday People Are Heroes: Using Big Data to Engage New Agents of Change Online

Note from Beth Kanter:  
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Data Driven Nonprofits by Steve Maclaughlin (launching today, Sept. 6th) and so data and nonprofits has been on my brain.  So when colleague, Cheryl Contee reached out an idea for this post, I could not resist!  Speaking of books, you can pre-order my next book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout due out in October.

Guest Post by Cheryl Contee

Two New Resources for the Nonprofit Diversity Conversation

Two works related to nonprofit diversity arrived at GuideStar last month. The first, "Engaging Nonprofit Employees: 3 Key Strategies to Retain and Engage the People Behind Your Cause," adds more evidence of diversity's importance to the sector. The second, "If Your Board Looked Like Your Community," offers steps for moving toward a more inclusive sector.