diverse group of five people in a meeting

Celebrating Global Diversity Awareness All Year Round

For the third year in a row, TechSoup is excited to observe Global Diversity Awareness Month. The celebration of cultural diversity is meant to build cultural competency and promote self-reflection. At TechSoup, the annual observance unites colleagues from around the globe with events and activities including speakers, performances, storytelling, and even recipe sharing.

Celebrating Global Diversity Awareness Month can take many forms, including expert-led events, DEI strategy building, strengthening organizational cultural competence, diversifying our organization's greater network, and developing closer connections with the local community. In this post, we'll share some ways we're working to foster an inclusive environment at TechSoup. All of these activities or initiatives can be done remotely and year-round to help cultivate lasting cultural competence at your nonprofit. We hope you find them helpful!

drawing of a diverse group of people posing and waving

Promote Cultural Competence Within Your Organization

Change starts from within, so consider how your organization can benefit from education around cultural competence. Cultural competence is the unyielding commitment to the evaluation of power, cultural awareness, and cultural appreciation within your organization and yourself for a better and more equitable sector and workplace. Remember that building cultural competence includes LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and varying religions, nationalities, age groups and ethnicities. These are some ideas to promote cultural competence:

  • Training and Presentations: Organizations can benefit from a myriad of cultural competence training and presentation topics such as culture and workstyles and ethnic or national history.
  • Assessments: Assess your organization's diversity standards and set new goals for accessibility, inclusive hiring, retention, and so on.
  • Town Halls or Open Forums: Invite the staff to an open forum on a topic, such as the diversity initiatives over the last year, and see what comes up. This may spark new initiatives for the coming year!
  • Affinity Groups: Provide a platform for your organization's affinity groups and employee resource groups to share topics that are meaningful to them. Don't have affinity groups yet? Consider starting them.
  • Internal Networking: With a sudden shift to remote work for many nonprofits, the water cooler chats, too, were left at the office. Enhance company culture by providing space for folks to meet new hires, network across teams, and overall to strengthen cultural competency by appreciating the cultural diversity of your colleagues.

Diversify Your Network with New Partnerships

Global Diversity Awareness Month is a perfect time to evaluate your network. Consider leadership, sector focus, funders, and program initiatives. If everyone and everything looks like you and your organization, then it's time to branch out.

  • Invite nonprofit leaders of underrepresented groups to speak. Hearing from nonprofit leaders of underrepresented groups will help your nonprofit understand and find new ways to reach underserved communities.
  • Consider social media takeovers or highlighting others on your channels. Your organization is likely already promoting services, activities, and initiatives using social media. Use your platforms to amplify other organizations and leverage those relationships for further impact

Engage with Your Community and Center Its Voices

How can your nonprofit's impact be expanded to include and diversify the voices of those served? Global Diversity Awareness Month is a good time to start building relationships through community-centered outreach. While similar to diversifying partnerships, these connections with the local community or target audience can kick-start new partnerships for new and long-term programmatic initiatives!

  • Engage in dedicated outreach to bring your services to underserved communities. With all your organization's marketing and networking efforts, it is still possible to miss communities that would benefit from your work. Try reaching out directly!
  • Find volunteer opportunities in your community. No matter your organization's size or services, there are ways to help out the greater community. Find places to volunteer or donate supplies virtually or in person.
  • Invite local artists, arts organizations, and cultural heritage institution representatives to speak about their work and preservation efforts. Provide a platform for local artists and representatives to share their stories and work, and pay them.

Final Thoughts

Don't limit observances to Global Diversity Awareness Month. There are opportunities to practice each of these suggestions year-round! Determine which observances make sense for your organization and build on that. Also, maintain the relationships built during the planning and implementation of Global Diversity Awareness Month events. Did you bring in new guest speakers or connect with local nonprofit leaders this month? Keep in contact, get their feedback, and consider how your relationship can further impact the communities you serve.

Additional Resources

Check out these TechSoup blog posts championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

More October Observances

  • LGBT History Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Dyslexia Awareness Month
  • German-American Heritage Month
  • Italian-American Heritage Month
  • Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month

Top photo: Shutterstock