SAMPLE: XYZ Organization Inclusiveness Blueprint

SAMPLE DOCUMENT

Note: This is a sample of a blueprint for a fictional organization and is provided for illustration only. Each organization will find that its blueprint differs, based on its own specific focus, needs, strengths, and weaknesses. A Word version is attached.

I. Introduction to XYZ Organization's Inclusiveness Initiative PurposeXYZ Organization's mission is to support low-income individuals and families in crisis in XYZ county by providing emergency services and support to help families stabilize and achieve self-sufficiency. Over the years, we have noticed an increase in the individuals we serve who are monolingual Spanish or Vietnamese speakers, and we have also noticed the population shifts in our community that affect our prospective clients, donors, and staff members. Because of this, XYZ Organization felt it necessary to formally evaluate its current strengths and weakness in terms of inclusiveness, and create and implement a plan of action to address weaknesses and build on strengths.

Focus: Because of limited resources and because of the changing demographics of our community, XYZ Organization focused this inclusiveness initiative on race and ethnicity. After examining the organization's needs, XYZ Organization chose two focus areas: Personnel and Programs & Constituents.

Definition of inclusiveness: an inclusive organization is a learning organization that strives to take into account the different needs and strengths of individuals from diverse backgrounds. XYZ Organization recognizes that inclusiveness is a process and an approach to doing business, rather than a set goal.

Case statement on inclusiveness: For XYZ Organization, actively working on inclusiveness is imperative in order to improve client services, reach all available clients, and effectively meet our mission.

Process used to create the inclusiveness blueprint: To create our inclusiveness blueprint, XYZ Organization formed an inclusiveness committee, lead by our executive director, composed of two board members and four staff members. The inclusiveness committee led the blueprint development process and gathered information about our organization and community. Then, the goals in each focus area were developed, primarily by the executive director and that focus area's lead staff person (Program Director, Communications & Development Director, and Office Manager), with consultation from our Board Chair and the inclusiveness committee. The inclusiveness committee then compiled this document, which was approved by the executive director and board of directors.

II. MethodologyOverview of Methods Used to Gather Information

Category

Field-Wide

Community-

Organization

Stakeholder

 

Data

Wide Data

Data

Data

Personnel;

Interviews

Accessed

Information

Anonymous

Board of

of 5 area

census data

about all

staff survey;

Directors;

organizations

 

hires and

Anonymous

Volunteers

with a similar

 

promotions

Board survey;

 

mission;

 

in past 5

Anonymous

 

review of

 

years;

volunteer

 

articles

 

Information

survey

 

related to

 

on Board

 

 

our field

 

members and

 

 

 

 

Board tenure

 

Programs &

Interviews of

Census data

Internal

Focus groups

Constituents;

5 area

 

database

(current

Community

organizations

 

with

clients, past

Relations

with a similar

 

anonymous

clients,

and

mission;

 

client

eligible

Marketing;

review of

 

information;

individuals;

Fundraising

articles

 

Materials

major

and

related to

 

audit; Donor

donors)

Membership.

our field

 

database

 

 

 

 

audit

 

 

III. Key Findings from Information Gathered Pertaining to the Organization as a Whole

Strengths:

  • XYZ Organization is generally perceived as an organization that cares about the community and all of the community's members.
  • XYZ Organization's board of directors and management expressed commitment to inclusiveness. Our discussions with organizations in our field showed this is key.

Weaknesses:

  • Many stakeholders expressed a concern that XYZ Organization's inclusiveness initiative would not result in sustainable changes.
  • XYZ Organization does not currently have the capacity, in staff or in materials, to communicate with all of its potential constituents.

 

IV. Key Findings from Information Gathered in Each Prioritized Category and a Plan for Each Prioritized Category

A. Personnel

Available Facts: In what ways is XYZ Organization more or less diverse than our community?

Census data shows that the area that we serve has the following breakdown: 55% white, 12% African American, 15% Latino/Hispanic, 10% Asian, 2% Native American, and 6% other (including those who identify as biracial or multiracial). The group categorized as "white" includes the increasing population of Russian immigrants. The primarily languages spoken in our service area, other than English, include Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese.

Our ten full-time staff members breakdown as follows in terms of race and ethnicity: 60% white, 20% Latino, 10% Asian, and 10% biracial. As compared to the community we serve, our staff is less representative of the African American and Native American communities; also, we do not have any staff members who can communicate with mono-lingual Vietnamese or Russian-speaking clients. We have one staff member who is bilingual Spanish-speaking and two others who can speak some Spanish, but are not fluent. We also have one staff member who is fluent in French, which has been important in working with several recent immigrants from Sudan.

Available Facts: In what ways is XYZ Organization's staff more or less diverse than other organizations in our field?

According to the information that we collected about our field, which we defined as other social service agencies within the surrounding metro area, we are doing better than many organizations in terms of staff diversity, but some others who have done better than our organizations. Other organizations have been more successful at recruiting and retaining African Americans as we have.

Available Facts: What trends can we identify related to personnel and inclusiveness?

Our staff has had a numerical increase in diversity over the past five years; in 2000, our staff was 90% white.

An evaluation of our promotions in the last five years showed that, of the five promotions that have occurred, four were for white individuals, and one was an individual of color. We found that, over the last five years, 70% of white staff members have stayed with our organization for two years or more, and 40% of individuals of color have stayed with our organization for two years or more. This data points to a trend that our organization has done better retaining white staff than staff members of color.

We found that the organizations which excelled at recruiting and retaining staff members of color in our field attributed their success to the following general factors: active, targeted recruitment among communities of color; professional development opportunities; and a supportive internal atmosphere. Targeted recruitment strategies included placing job ads in publications serving communities of color, connecting with leadership development programs for communities of color, connecting with student alliances around race and ethnicity at local universities (one organization has had success through their internship program), and developing strong peer-to-peer networks to distribute job advertisements through current staff, board members, and colleagues.

Several organizations that we talked to offered to help us to spread the word about open positions, using their networks.

Professional development opportunities include having quarterly staff-wide training opportunities on field issues and challenges; supporting staff members as they go to school through tuition assistance and more flexible scheduling; and supporting staff in leadership programs.

A supportive internal atmosphere was shown as key in staff retention. Organizations stated that good benefits packages had been very important for retention, teambuilding activities and/or inclusiveness training, a flexible approach to time off for personal or family needs, and encouraging appropriate autonomy and individual agency within positions.

Stakeholder Perceptions: What salient themes regarding personnel were identified by a majority of stakeholders?

Through anonymous surveys of our staff, we found that there is a perception that the organization does not equally invest in the professional development of all staff, or equally promote staff members of color as compared to white staff members. A majority of staff members commented that they were very glad that our organization is going through a process to become more fully inclusive.

Stakeholder Perceptions: In what ways is the culture of XYZ organization in terms of personnel perceived by stakeholder groups to be welcoming, or unwelcoming, of people of color?

Most staff members, regardless of race and ethnicity, responded that XYZ Organization has a healthy, supportive environment for all staff, and that our sense of teamwork was strong. Staff members felt that our organization had improved its environment and practices related to inclusiveness over the past five years, though there is work still to be done.

Stakeholder Perceptions: Do stakeholders believe that the organization has a system for identifying and recruiting prospective staff members of color? If so, is it effective?

Staff members had mixed reports on this item; many staff members did not believe that there was a system in place for identifying and recruiting staff members, and that it has been done in a random fashion.

Stakeholder Perceptions: Is there any additional information related to personnel that currently isn't available that you would like to collect in the future?

No.

Action Plan Issue:

Our data shows that there are inequities in the recruitment and retention of individuals of color as staff members versus white individuals.

Goals

(1) Improve our retention of individuals of color as staff members.

Outcomes: Staff members of color will have retention rates that match or exceed those of white staff members (currently 70% of white staff stay over two years).

Tasks: Evaluate professional development opportunities currently offered. (Management Team, within 3 months); Create a professional development policy that applies to all staff members equally. (Management Team, within 6 months); Institute a formal exit-interview process (Management Team, within 2 months; )Review current evaluation process and implement measurements for working effectively with diverse communities (Administrative Director, within 4 months); Continue to monitor and compare retention rates on a yearly basis. (Inclusiveness Committee, ongoing); Provide quarterly team-building activities, e.g. staff-wide lunches, family and partner picnics, and annual staff scavenger hunts. (ED and Office Manager, ongoing); Evaluate current vacation and sick day policy, including its application to care of partners and children. (Management Team, within 6 months); Create a feedback mechanism for staff complaints and needs, and address these needs among the management team, as appropriate. (Management Team, within six months and ongoing); In two years, conduct a survey of staff about the internal environment. (Inclusiveness Committee, in two years)

Success Indicator: At least 90% of staff members will report that our environment strives to be inclusive of all members' needs and that we are supportive of all staff members.

(2) Better recruit staff members of color.

Outcomes: More qualified individuals of color will apply for open positions.

Tasks: Host a one-time nominating committee meeting with current and past board members, staff and volunteers with strong ties to communities of color (Executive Director, 6 months); Complete a review of all job descriptions and ensure "working with diverse communities" is included as a requirement for all jobs (Management Team, 12 months); Develop a comprehensive plan for advertising all positions that utilizes informal and formal community networks, email lists, etc with strong ties with communities of color (Director of Administration, 12 months); Institute a policy that all positions will first be posted internally (3 months)

Outcomes: Our staff will better represent the make-up of the community we serve, in both race and ethnicity and languages spoken.

Tasks: Create standardized procedures for filling positions (Director of Administration, 3 months); Explore creating an internship or more volunteer opportunities for high school or college students, or those involved with work force development programs.(Director of Programs, 12 months); In five years, re-assess the racial and ethnic make-up of our service area.

B. Programs and Constituents Available facts

Available Facts: In what ways are XYZ Organization's programs and constituents more or less diverse than our community?

Compared to the census data about those individuals in our community eligible for our services (defined as low-income by federal government standards), we are reaching fewer clients of Asian and Hispanic/Latino descent.

Available Facts: In what ways are XYZ Organization's programs and constituents more or less diverse and inclusive than our field?

Our informal telephone interviews found that other organizations in our field have been reaching more monolingual Vietnamese speakers; these organizations have worked on being more culturally competent in relating to this community and one has partnered with a local church in the Vietnamese community to provide services. Another organization that, like the XYZ Organization, is located in a traditionally white part of town, has partnered with a local health clinic located in a majority Hispanic/Latino neighborhood to reach out to clients.

Available Facts: What best practices from the field regarding programs and constituents are relevant to ou;r organization?

Our literature review found the following best practices: Communicate in culturally competent ways Offer services during evening and weekend hours; Find an accessible location; Be sensitive to different levels of literacy when asking clients to fill out paperwork.

Available Facts: What trends can XYZ Organization identify regarding programs and constituents that are relevant to our inclusiveness initiative?

There are several best practices in the field that our organization can explore further to improve our programs.

XYZ Organization is not reaching many eligible families and individuals in our service area.

Stakeholder Perspectives: What salient themes regarding XYZ Organization's programs were identified by a majority of stakeholders?

Our current clients reported a relatively high level of satisfaction with XYZ's programs, but most clients expressed a concern about our location and our hours of operation.

Most individuals who were eligible for our services, but who had not accessed services, did not know about our organization.

Stakeholder Perspectives: In what ways is the culture of XYZ Organization's programs perceived by different groups to be welcoming, or unwelcoming, of people of color?

XYZ Organization's staff members generally perceived our programs' culture to be welcoming, with the notable exception of XYZ Organization's lack of any written materials in Vietnamese. Clients generally felt that our programs were welcoming to all racial and ethnic groups, citing the helpfulness of staff, but did note that the paperwork can be intimidating, especially to those who are not fluent in English.

Stakeholder Perspectives: Do stakeholders believe that the XYZ Organization currently has a system for identifying and recruiting eligible clients of color? If so, is it effective?

Both clients in focus groups and staff members noted that clients are either referred to XYZ Organization, or seek XYZ Organization out. Beyond networking with other agencies in our community, XYZ Organization does not currently actively reach out to potential clients of color.

Stakeholder Perspectives: Are there any significant inconsistencies in perspectives among groups of stakeholders regarding XYZ Organization's programs?

When staff members were asked if the location of services or service hours would prevent clients from accessing services, they reported that such considerations would not. However, both clients and potential clients reported that the hours and location were obstacles.

Stakeholder Perspectives: What trends can you identify regarding programs and constituents based on the perspectives of stakeholders?

    • Current clients of color are generally pleased with our services.
    • XYZ Organization is not doing as well as it could reaching out to eligible clients.
    • Our location, hours, paperwork, and languages spoken are all areas in which we can improve.

Action plan Issue:

XYZ Organization is not reaching many potential clients of color and is not providing the best services that it can to current clients.

Goals

(1) Improve our communications with potential clients of color to result in an increase in eligible clients of color accessing our services.

Outcomes: Eligible individuals of color will report a higher level of awareness of XYZ Organization in two years.

Tasks: Translate brochures into Spanish (Program department, six months); Place materials in community centers and schools within communities of color (Program department, six months to one year); Hold an open house and encourage current clients to attend and bring friends, neighbors, and relatives (Program department, one year); Explore translating materials into Vietnamese (dependent upon having staff or regular volunteers who speak Vietnamese) (Program department, 18 months); Identify and meet with Latino and Vietnamese community leaders to share background information on our programs and services (Executive Director, 12 months); Expand the outreach program into predominantly Latino and Vietnamese communities (Program department, 18 months); Explore ways to partner with organizations that primarily serve communities of color (Program department, one year)

(2) Improve our services so that they are more inclusive of the needs of our clients.

Outcomes: At least 80% of current clients will report improved services in two years.

Tasks: Transition to have one late evening and one weekend morning for services (Program department, one year); Complete an audit of paperwork requirements to lessen the amount of work required (Program department, 3 months); Train staff on how to provide culturally competent assistance with paperwork, particularly for non-English speakers(Program department, six weeks).

Outcomes: Rates of individuals of color accessing our programs will improve.

Tasks: Explore partnering with community centers and schools to offer services. (Program Department, 12 months); Reimburse bus tokens or gas vouchers for low-income clients (if funds available). (Program Department, 12 months).

 

V. Accountability Plan

XYZ Organization's inclusiveness committee and executive director will monitor progress toward meeting the action items in the blueprint.

The inclusiveness committee will review progress toward each objective quarterly. Quarterly reports will be made verbally at board meetings and staff meetings.

Twice per year, the inclusiveness committee will evaluate whether action plans should be adjusted. Database figures for clients will be evaluated every six months, as will figures related to hiring and promotions.

In two years, XYZ Organization will formally evaluate its progress toward the action items by conducting another anonymous staff survey and client focus groups. At this point, XYZ Organization's executive director and board will determine if XYZ Organization should expand its inclusiveness initiative to focus on other areas, including communications, volunteers, and fundraising.

 

VI. Conclusion

XYZ Organization looks forward to implementing its action plan. In addition to creating the blueprint, XYZ Organization has engaged in one day-long inclusiveness training session, and plans to continue to have a minimum of one day-long session per year (depending on resources). Also, the inclusiveness committee at XYZ Organization will be hosting four brown bag lunches per year to discuss the organization's journey toward becoming more fully inclusive.

 

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