BRIDGE BUILDER STRATEGIES
BRIDGE BUILDER STRATEGIES' COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Bridge Builder Strategies takes an active role in allyship. The nonprofit community is responsible for promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity so society can thrive. We prioritize partnerships with organizations that are advancing these categories. We see a more diverse future by embracing common humanity where nonprofits and their board leadership recognize the worth of every person.
For our own sake as well as that of the social sector at large, we must be committed to the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as these ideals will impact both us now and future generations who deserve nothing less than full acceptance for their worthiness in life regardless of their different backgrounds, walks of life, or faith-based beliefs.
Given nonprofits' unique position, nonprofits and their boards can help heal our divided society. Nonprofits can help promote, embrace, and celebrate the common humanity in all people. In doing so, nonprofits must also acknowledge that an increasingly intolerant climate is challenging democratic values and ideals--the very things we stand for as organizations committed to advancing justice or protecting vulnerable populations from discrimination on any grounds whatsoever.
As a supporting organization of the social sector, we have the power to bring communities together and work toward change. We can make our voices heard against systems that systemically create unfairness for some groups while empowering others. This is what makes diversity important — an appreciation of different perspectives so that everyone's needs are represented in policymaking processes: whether it be through advocacy campaigns or creating successful programs that are supported by data and make a positive systemic impact.
Social sector organizations can partner with their board, other organizations, and funders to take an intentional approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion:
Diversity: The diverse group of leaders on nonprofit boards reflects the values and beliefs that empower them. We believe all social sector organizations can better achieve their missions by drawing from skills, talents, or perspectives different than those in previous generations; this addition brings fresh ideas for success within an already strong organization culture!
Equity: The board's role is critical in understanding how a nonprofit's resources should be prioritized. By being aware of systemic inequities, boards can avoid creating flawed strategies and have opportunities to deepen their organization's impact on society while advancing the public good.
Inclusion: Inclusive nonprofits and their boards create a culture of trust, candor, and respect- none of which is possible without intentionality. Boards that cultivate an inclusive environment ensure that all members are encouraged to bring their perspectives, identity, and life experience. This ensures there will never be any blind spots between leadership and the community.
Bridge Builder Strategies wants to help nonprofits and their boards strengthen their leadership on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have several programs in development that we implement with our development partners in our network. A few ways we do this is by providing networking opportunities such as retreats, training sessions, and advisory boards designed specifically for nonprofit leaders looking at how best to handle issues of race when it comes into play within an organization's work.
Other ways we are doing this are by:
providing tools and resources to support nonprofits and boards as they work to build capabilities and create impact
advocating for and supporting programs that address systemic inequities
communicating impact for each organization's work and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with their mission
highlighting and celebrating nonprofit organizations that are leaders in their field
sharing best practices amongst our network of nonprofit organizations
challenging assumptions about strong leadership, board management, and program execution
continuing to have intentional hiring practices and developing an inclusive, accountable, and high-integrity culture
When boards of directors lead organizations with the trust and respect of their communities, they can drive meaningful change to create a more just society.
As leaders in this space, we at Bridge Builder Strategies want nothing less than for all nonprofits and board members to be able to break down barriers so that every social impact organization has an opportunity to create and deliver impact in their community while also upholding core values such as integrity and transparency.
As a leading strategy firm for social impact organizations, nonprofits, boards, and foundations, Bridge Builder Strategies is piloting new programs to help unleash the full potential of the social impact sector. We are using data and artificial intelligence (AI) in our work with these groups so that they can be more effective at achieving good public objectives while also being sustainable.
Other pilot programs we are developing:
Using data to advance equitable hiring practices
Using AI to optimize program offerings in areas at risk of poverty, hunger, and homelessness
Rethinking sustainability impact using AI