Inclusivity has become a crucial aspect of community engagement and donor relations. This is exactly why I enjoyed the “Don’t Just Slap A Flag On It And Call It Inclusive: Understanding Your Queer Donors and Community” session about inclusive fundraising from the Nonprofit Marketing Summit Radical Impact, hosted by Community Boost. The panelists for this session included: Juliana Weissbein of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Jonathan Meagher-Zayas of Equity Warrior Strategies and Clay Buck of TCB Fundraising, and they covered a wide range of important things that I feel are not talked about frequently enough, especially in the nonprofit space.
Here are the top 3 things I learned when it comes to prioritizing inclusive fundraising.
Language Truly Matters:
Language is a powerful tool for both communication and expression. In the context of inclusivity, the words we choose can shape the perceptions and experiences of LGBTQ+ donors and community members. The session emphasized the importance of using inclusive and respectful language. Acknowledging preferred pronouns and using gender-neutral terms not only demonstrates respect but also creates a safe and welcoming environment. By understanding the nuances of queer terminology and staying up-to-date with evolving language, organizations can avoid unintentional exclusion and foster genuine connections.
Being Part of the LGBTQ+ Community is Not the Only Identity of a Donor:
While LGBTQ+ donors and community members share a common identity, it’s essential to recognize that their identities are multifaceted. LGBTQ+ individuals have diverse interests, passions, and backgrounds, just like anyone else. They highlighted the need for organizations to move beyond a one-dimensional view of their LGBTQ+ supporters. By taking the time to understand each donor’s unique identity, interests, and motivations, nonprofits can tailor their engagement strategies to resonate on a more personal level. This approach not only strengthens donor relationships but also reinforces the idea that LGBTQ+ individuals are not defined solely by their sexual orientation or gender identity.
There is a Difference Between “We Welcome Everyone” and “This Space Was Created With You in Mind”:
I loved this mindset – Inclusivity isn’t just about making people feel tolerated; it’s about making them feel genuinely welcomed and valued. The panelists talked about the distinction between superficial inclusivity statements like “we welcome everyone” and creating spaces specifically designed with LGBTQ+ individuals in mind. To truly connect with queer donors and community members, organizations should go beyond token gestures and implement meaningful changes. This might involve tailored programs, events, or resources that address the unique needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community. Demonstrating a sincere commitment to inclusivity sends a powerful message that goes beyond words and fosters a sense of belonging.
The “Don’t Just Slap A Flag On It And Call It Inclusive” session reminds us that genuine inclusivity is built on respect, understanding, and meaningful actions. We don’t have to politicize the simple act of carefully choosing our language, recognizing the complexity of LGBTQ+ identities, and actively creating safe and inclusive spaces. Organizations that forge stronger connections with their queer donors and community, ultimately lead us toward a more inclusive and equitable future for all.
Here at MemoryFox, we believe in inclusive fundraising and that storytelling with grassroots community-generated content allows the world to become a more inclusive and equitable place for everyone. Check out our podcast episode dedicated to Pride Month. In this episode, we invite you to join us as we celebrate the power of storytelling in fostering inclusivity and understanding within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as shine a spotlight on a few of the many inspiring organizations that are dedicated to this work in our communities.
About the Author
Sr. Business Development Manager, MemoryFox
Danielle is a community leader, creative writer, professional athlete/coach, and devout Buffalo Bills fan. She’s been involved with MemoryFox since the beginning and has watched the organization evolve from an individual storytelling platform to a haven for nonprofits to pursue their storytelling efforts. Connect with her!