Making the BUSINESS Case for Building Inclusiveness

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Inclusiveness is SMART BUSINESS.

Inclusive organizations:

  • Communicate more effectively with diverse constituent groups and the public
  • Better understand changing markets
  • Have the potential to tap new donor pools and expand client pools for fees-for-service
  • Take advantage of improved problem-solving, increased creativity and innovation, improved teamwork, and increased flexibility and ability to learn from people at all levels
  • Experience less staff turnover
  • More effectively attract and retain qualified staff and board members

At the end of 2006, our organization's financials showed that we were $200K in the red. There were those who thought that inclusiveness work should possibly be put on hold until we corrected the financial outlook. But there were others who thought the work of being inclusive would actually improve our financial situation. We moved ahead on that work and put in place several changes to our organizational effectiveness, including a concentrated focus on Development and Programs, specifically how these two areas needed to come together to further our mission, and at the same time, provide a healthy financial picture. At the end of 2007, our financial picture reflected $190K in the black.

     Project PAVE, Denver

Supporting Data

  • "More diverse workplaces have higher revenues, more customers, larger market shares, and greater relative profits," according to Cedric Herring, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as reported in "Diversity Brings the Dollars," Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2009. "Diversity allows companies to think outside the box by bringing previously excluded groups inside the box. Although the mixing of demographics might initially inspire some conflict and inefficiencies, they're often worth it to get new ideas, better ways of thinking, and more productive practices."
  • Research conducted by OMNI Institute for The Denver Foundation indicates that organizations engaging in an inclusiveness initiative feel they have become more effective and more inclusive in their fundraising efforts. Some development staff now write grants and conduct fundraising activities that match the inclusiveness mission and vision of the organization. Click here to access the report .