Let abundance and DEI guide your brand and communications
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies can strengthen your project planning when viewed with the lens of abundance. An abundance mindset can help you focus on opportunities and stir your imagination into new possibilities and experimentation. As you start your next project, take a moment to consider an abundance mindset. An abundance mindset is an approach to centering your organizational vision, what you are fighting for, what you hope to win, and imagining how the world will look based on what you do. An abundance mindset encourages you to focus on what is possible, given the resources. An abundance mindset is not toxic positivity, rather it is a skill that allows you to see what is possible within given parameters. When you approach your project with an abundance mindset, you are creating space and opportunity for a multitude of possibilities, including activating your DEI plan.
Here are five tips for you to consider. You can use this to get you started on your branding, campaign, or communications projects.
- Consider what parts of your DEI plan you will bring into focus for this project. The work of DEI strategy is vast. Are there specific sections of your DEI plan that you want to concentrate on? Or will your DEI plan be used more as a grounding document for your branding? Consider your timeline, resources, and capacity. Thinking with an abundance mindset will help you see the opportunities whether large or small. Don’t be distracted by perfection, instead focus on what you can bring into this project.
- Define how you will measure the success of DEI in this project. DEI plans are unique to every organization, and success will also look different. Identifying what DEI success looks like for this project will allow you to complete a project and reflect with integrity. Progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion processes can be challenging to identify; however, if you set a clear and specific statement of success for DEI, you will know you are on the right track and can celebrate a win with your team.
Plan for equitable and accessible research methodologies. As part of your branding and communications processes, you might engage in various research methodologies such as interviews, focus groups, surveys, etc. When you practice an abundance mindset, ask yourself what can be gained by exploring new methodologies.
- Who will you hear from?
- What new insights will you uncover?
Consider what methodologies are more accessible for the audiences that you are trying to reach and make a plan.
- What can you adjust? What can you focus on? What can you let go?
- What does your DEI plan say about audiences and how can we make space for them?
Use technology that will allow for broader segments of your audience to participate. Want more accessibility tips? Check out this blog and checklist from my fellow account manager, Josh Kelley.
- Compensate when possible. If your research includes people who are not staff or board members, consider what compensation can look like. This is tough for nonprofits as budgets are always squeezed. Consider what compensation your organization can offer (funds, access, event tickets, memberships, discounted rates to service fees and plan accordingly. If your organization cannot provide compensation, consider adding a statement and explain the desire and commitment to do so in the future when funding is available.
- Make a plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion gaps that may be uncovered through the project. Having an abundance mindset doesn’t mean that you are endlessly optimistic. An abundance mindset can help you focus on the long game. DEI efforts are focused on shifting historical and systemic problems–quite a lofty goal to attempt to address through your branding project alone. You don’t have to solve every issue as it arises. Make a plan for how issues that may be uncovered will be documented and identify a person responsible for following up. These steps will support you in honoring your organization’s DEI commitment. When a plan is made, you will not be rattled by any surprises, your team will feel secure in your organizational commitment.
DEI strategies are unique to each organization. Use an abundance mindset to help you create and identify opportunities for your DEI commitments to come to life through your communications or branding project.