Get Proactive: Write Policy to Make Your Nonprofit More Inclusive

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YouthBuild USA

Brandon Stallworth (left) a graduate of Schenectady YouthBuild in Schenectady, N.Y., and Joshua Spear, a YouthBuild Lawrence AmeriCorps graduate from Lawrence, Mass., meet in Rep. Michael Capuano’s office in Washington. YouthBuild USA reserves five places on its 16-member board for young adults who are graduates of its program. Part of the organization’s mission is to develop leadership and civic engagement in young people.

When it comes to writing policies that govern a nonprofit, certain basics usually get covered. Nonprofits draft whistleblower policies, executive compensation policies and conflict of interest policies to comply with the IRS, for example.

But what about setting up policies around inclusiveness?

The question sometimes surfaces when a nonprofit looks around and notices its board is all white. Or staff members become concerned that a particular group of kids — LGBTQ kids or disabled kids, for example — aren’t being adequately served. Or a potential funder raises an eyebrow at the lack of a diversity policy . . .

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