IDEAS for Action

Each month in our newsletter and on this page, we’ll share an IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access) resource that can be reviewed in about 15 minutes!

We challenge you to find a way to use this resource. Will you share it with friends in your social circle? How about sending it to coworkers and having a conversation over lunch? Maybe you will send it to committee members and make it a regular part of your meetings?

March IDEAS for Action - 2022

What do our brains think about equity, and what do monkeys and the first moon landing have to do with it? 

Here are a few questions to consider: 
  • What resonated with you?
  • Did anything make you think differently than before?
  • Did something surprise you? Did anything make you uncomfortable?
  • What is one take away–something you can be mindful of or implement in your personal life or at your workplace?

April IDEAS for Action - 2022

In this TEDxPasadenaWomen presentation, Understanding My Privilege, University Chancellor, Susan E. Borrego, reflects on her life as an emancipated minor and dissects the emotionally charged conversation surrounding race relations in the United States.

“Conversations can get a little difficult…we have to be able to breathe through our defensiveness.  If we can do this, we can make more space for a more humane and just world. If we unpack our privilege, we can use it to change the world.” 

Reflection Questions:
  • What resonated with you?
  • Did anything make you think differently than before?
  • What is an area in which you hold privilege? Can you identify a way you can use that privilege to create change?

May IDEAS for Action - 2022

This month, we introduce you to a helpful local resource: the City of Tacoma Equity Index. This resource is an interactive map that illustrates disparities in our city. Data from this resource can be used to identify where there is a need for more accessible community resources.

Take 10-15 minutes to view the Equity Index and see what you can learn about our community.

Reflect on these guiding questions as you spend time with the Equity Index:
  • If your organization serves communities in Tacoma, are there disparities present within those communities? If so, how might these disparities cause barriers to accessing your services?
  • If your organization doesn't serve communities in Tacoma, what similarities and differences do you see between Tacoma and your community?
  • What data from the Equity Index surprised you?
  • How can your organization or your actions as a fundraiser address disparities in your community to increase access to services?

June IDEAS for Action - 2022

In this month’s IDEA for Action, Kori Carew shares her reflections on courage as an ongoing practice. “If we’re going to create a new way of belonging and being in community, we must be courageous.”
A moment of racial tension presents a choice. Will we be silent about implicit and unconscious bias, or will we interrupt bias for ourselves and others? Justice, belonging, and community are at stake. Silence in the face of tragedy and oppression is deadly, and we can’t afford not to speak for each other.

Reflection Activity:
  • Think of a time when your unconscious bias showed up. 
  • If it showed up for you, did you notice and counteract it? If you didn’t, might you practice courage and respond differently next time?
  • If you saw unconscious bias in someone else’s words, actions or behavior, did you step up to interrupt it? If so, why, and what was the result? If not, why, and might you do something differently next time?

July IDEAS for Action - 2022

People may receive the same information, but interpret it differently. We are comforted by commonality, and we learn from diversity. 

In this 10 minute video, Melville, a Chief Diversity Officer, shares nine things he suggests you do to increase your diversity IQ, not only on race, but as a much broader definition. Your diversity is your personal currency, so spend it wisely. It starts with you.

 Improving your diversity IQ | Doug Melville | TEDxSyracuseUniversity

 Suggestions for increasing your Diversity IQ

  • Awareness
  • Be Yourself
  • Check Your Bias
  • DNA Dive
  • Eat Out More
  • Focus on Women's Issues
  • GLAAD Matters
  • Hidden Handicap
  • Insights and Inspiration

 Reflection Activity:

  • Which of these suggestions already come naturally to you? 
  • Which thing or things can you pay more attention to in an effort to increase your diversity IQ?
  • Select one thing you will commit to do in the next week, and consider sharing your insights with a friend, family member, or colleague.

August IDEAS for Action - 2022

Words matter.  We each have a responsibility to carefully consider the language we use and its impact on others. This month we’re sharing an Inclusive Language Guide created by UW Information Technology. Thanks to UW for sharing this great resource!

The guide is divided into two tables–one on words that are IT-specific and the other a more general list of problematic words. These reflect the principles of inclusive language: use gender-neutral terms; avoid ableist language; focus on people not disabilities or circumstances; avoid generalizations about people, regions, cultures and countries; and avoid slang, idioms, metaphors and other words with layers of meaning and a negative history. This list isn’t exhaustive, but is intended to illustrate the kinds of words to be mindful of. There are also links to additional resources regarding inclusive language. 


Discussion / Reflection Activity:

  • Which of these phrases are part of your vocabulary?
  • Do any of these words or phrases surprise you?
  • Select a couple that are surprising to you and spend a few minutes learning about the origins of the word or phrase, and the alternatives
  • Is there one (or more) word or phrase you will commit to working to eliminate from your language?


October IDEAS for Action - 2022

For October, we invite you to read through
Money, Power, and Race: The Lived Experience of Fundraisers of Color.  This study, completed in 2019, examined “the barriers to success of professionals of color in fundraising.”  This resource specifically focused on the intersections of money, power, and race in philanthropy.

We encourage you to take some time to read through this study and unpack some of your own experiences as a fundraiser of color and/or identify implicit biases/blindspots that you may have related to race and equity in fundraising.

Specifically related to the In Their Own Words section:

  • Have you, as a person of color, ever felt the same way as those who responded?  Knowing that others have the same feelings/experiences, what do you want your peers to know to better foster an equitable environment for you?  How can they elevate your voice or role without creating a burden for you?
  • As a non-person of color, what steps can you take to ensure that philanthropy becomes more equitable and that diversity is both welcomed and invited into the field?
  • What steps will you take to address, unpack, and unlearn implicit bias?  What can/will you do to ensure that marginalized voices are heard?

November IDEAS for Action - 2022

Liberatory Decision-Making: How to Engage in a Healthy Process

This month’s IDEA for Action is from RVC. Rooted in Vibrant Communities (RVC) promotes social justice by cultivating leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.


Group decision making can be a formidable challenge, even when people are coming together with shared goals. When working in a group of people with different perspectives and experiences, sometimes even a seemingly simple decision can be difficult to make, particularly when operating from an equity framework.


Over the course of years, RVC developed a set of decision-making tools called the Advice Process, which they are freely sharing on their website

Those tools are as follows:


  1. Step by step process for making decisions

  2. Options for how to make the decision

  3. Assessing the importance of a decision

For the Advice Process decision making approach to be effective, it's important to build a culture of feedback, invest in role mapping, and take time to build decision-making skills throughout your organization. Laying this foundation requires building a healthy organizational culture where folks feel comfortable giving difficult feedback in a direct and timely manner.


Take a few minutes to download and review these tools. Choose one tool and use it to work through your next group decision. Practice on a decision that has less impact to see how the process works, and then move on to another bigger decision as you feel comfortable.


December IDEAS for Action - 2022

Microaggressions are defined as the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups. Microaggressons often come in the form of an insult or invalidation, and wrapped up as compliments, for example, “you’re so well-spoken.” They can also be part of a general conversation, like “where are you really from?” This makes it harder to convince people that the microaggression happened, or that microaggressions even exist.

In this short video from Keele University, students share their experiences with everyday microaggressions, as well as the toll it takes on them. 

An everyday dimension of racism: Why we need to understand microaggressions

Stopping microaggressions starts with education–people learning why it's not acceptable to say certain things, and having support systems and procedures in institutions that help people report the problem and take it seriously. (We’ll provide tips on addressing microaggressions in institutions in a future IDEA for Action.)

Reflection Activity:

  • When was the last time you observed or experienced a microaggression? What was your response? Did you call it out, or let it go? Why?

  • The next time you observe or commit a microaggression, what is something you can do in the moment to address it?

  • Find someone you trust to be your accountability buddy. Commit to pointing out microaggressions you each might make or observe. Help each other talk through a situation when it occurs, or afterward.

January IDEAS for Action - 2023

Creating Accessible and Engaging Presentations

Are your presentations accessible to all, including those with vision or hearing impairments or who are neurodiverse learners? Here are some things to consider to make sure presentations are engaging and accessible for everyone in your audience. 

  • Design your presentation materials for maximum readability – font size, color, contrast, and type should be considered.
  • Provide large-print copies and digital copies of your materials. 
  • Share your slides in advance. This allows people to explore concepts beforehand, print slides for note-taking, or make large print versions.  

If you use audio or video content, caption the video ahead of time, and keep it brief. 

Use a microphone, speak slowly and clearly, and face the audience at all times. Many people rely on lipreading or visual cues.

When presenting, read text you’ve included on slides. When using images, include written image descriptions. 


This video from AHEAD provides some additional useful tips and advice on how to make presentations more accessible. Many of the tips are based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning. For more info, visit

Creating Accessible and Engaging Presentations

Reflection Activity:

Which of these tips do you already follow? 

What could you add in to your presentations to make them more accessible?

Select one thing you will commit to incorporating in your planning moving forward.

February IDEAS for Action - 2023

2022  Diversity Among Philanthropic Professionals (DAPP) Report 

The DAPP aims to help the philanthropic community better understand its workforce and leadership. Based on anonymous self reporting from individuals, this report provides a snapshot of the 2022 philanthropic workforce and helps participating foundations accurately assess the culture and climate of their institutions. 

Note: Because the survey is sent to participating foundations, the findings are not inclusive of the broader scope of people working in philanthropy at nonprofit organizations and in other capacities and roles. The categories of race & ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age & tenure, disability status, immigration status and religious affiliation provide interesting insights, and we encourage you to explore those findings and apply them to your workplace or professional networks.

Highlights of the report include: 

  • The number of people with disabilities nearly tripled, growing from 6.3% in 2018 to 23.1% in 2022

    • Two largest categories of disability: 15.6% mental health and 9.4% chronic illness 

    • 92.7% of people with a disability are not out about their disability to all or most of their coworkers, and 1 in 5 people with disabilities feels invisibilized in their workplace

  • 48% of LGBTQ people are not out to most of all of their coworkers

  • People of color are 10 times more likely to feel exploited in the workplace

The full 96 page report is available at Change Philanthropy, and includes more detailed information on each category. Review one the infographics below for a quick snapshot of key findings.

Full infographic

Accessible infographic 

Questions for Reflection & Ideas for Action: 

  • What is your reaction to these findings? Are you surprised by any of the data?

  • Share this infographic (or the full report) with members of your team and have a generative conversation about what you can learn from it and apply to your workplace or professional network.

  • Identify one specific thing you can do to support diverse leadership in your workplace or professional network for one of more of the categories included in the report, ie. people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people.

March IDEAS for Action - 2023

In honor of International Women’s Month, we invite you to explore this interactive timeline of women's activism from generations past and present created by UN Women. UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

A single moment can spark a revolution, collective actions can transform laws, creative expression can change attitudes and an invention can alter the course of history. It’s these threads that weave together to propel the women’s movement — even in the face of obstacles. Discover how some of these strands, big and small, have shaped your lives, and the rights and lives of women and girls worldwide.

Today, 1 in 3 women experience violence in their lifetime; 830 women die every day from preventable pregnancy-related causes; only 1 in 4 parliamentarians worldwide are women; and it will be 2086 before we close the gender pay gap if present trends continue with no action. Gender inequality is rife. As the international community unites around the Sustainable Development Agenda, we owe it to the next generations to strive for a world where women have voice, choice and agency and enjoy the same rights as men.

Reflection questions:

  1. What did you learn that surprised you about women’s history?

  2. What are the most troubling issues impacting women today?

  3. What is your personal commitment to fair, just and equitable treatment of women worldwide?

April IDEAS for Action - 2023

Empowering Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Neurodiversity is a term used to describe natural variations in the human brain. It relates to differences in the way we think, process, learn and behave. 1 in 5 people are neurodivergent, meaning their brain functions differently in one or more ways than is considered standard or typical. 

As with all people, we each have our talents and challenges. Neurodivergent individuals are often out of the box creatives, industry geniuses, analytical thinkers, and proactive leaders. 

They may also spend a lot of time trying to adjust their work environment to suit their needs. That's because typically, working environments are set up for neurotypical ways of thinking and doing.

Organizations must create a workplace that welcomes neurodiversity and allows employees to work and achieve in their own way. 

This resource from texthelp is full of great resources including:

  •  A 5 minute video on the Power of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

  •  Explanations of some of the most common forms of neurodiversity: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, and Autism

  • Suggestions for creating an inclusive culture and ways to empower neurodivergent employees

  • A downloadable Guide for Employers: Neurodiversity in the Workplace

  • An infographic on Neurodiversity

  • Access to a free video series and webinar

  • And more!


Reflection Activity:

  • Commit to spending 15 - 30 minutes exploring these resources

  • Think about your coworkers and colleagues. Is your workplace supportive and empowering for neurodiverse individuals? Why or why not?

  • What type of support might you offer personally, or what might your employer offer, in order to create a more supportive environment for neurodiverse individuals?

  • Consider sharing this resource with your manager or employer and have a conversation about what might be implemented in your workplace.

May IDEAS for Action - 2023

Words to Avoid in Fundraising Communications

Check out Big Duck's "Words to Avoid" glossary -- updated for 2023! This resource is here to help you ground your donor communications in inclusivity and equity. While not an exhaustive guide, this resource prompts thoughtful reflection on language choices. Remember, language evolves and equity is multifaceted. Approach the list with an open mind, supplementing it with additional research and diverse perspectives. Let's be intentional about the words we use and the messages we promote. 

Reflection Questions:

  • Are there any words or phrases on this list that surprised you or challenged your previous assumptions about inclusive language?
  • Do you disagree with any of the words or phrases on this list? Why, and what biases are showing up in your rationale?
  • Based on this list and your reflection, how can you incorporate more equitable language choices in your fundraising efforts?

July IDEAS for Action - 2023

Resources on Land Acknowledgements 

Land acknowledgments are one way to increase visibility and fight the erasure of Native peoples. It’s important to remember – Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater awareness and a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation. 

This 4 minute video from Honor Native Land illustrates the intention, purpose, and meaning of land acknowledgments as shared by several tribal members of the Lakota and Pueblo Nations.

“If you start acknowledging that the land you are on and the space that you are in belong to people that are still here, it makes so much more room for understanding all these other issues.”  ~ Mary Bordeaux, Sicangu Lakota

While the Honor Native Land program has recently been sunsetted, the resources are still available and may be helpful to organizations new to creating land acknowledgments. The sunsetting page of the website includes links to several indigenous land maps and additional resources.

This land acknowledgment guide from IllumiNative is a great resource to craft or further develop a land acknowledgment statement. IllumiNative is a Native woman-led racial and social justice organization dedicated to increasing the visibility of—and challenging the narrative about—Native peoples. Accurate information is essential to ending racism, bias, and discrimination against Native peoples. You’ll find many resources on this website to further your understanding, advocacy, and allyship.

Questions for Reflection & Ideas for Action

  • What are your takeaways from the Honor Native Land video?
  • After reviewing the 4-page Land Acknowledgment guide from IllumiNative, what steps can you take to craft or refine a land acknowledgment for your organization? How impactful is your statement? Are the terms you use accurate and honest? What additional research do you need to do?

August IDEAS for Action - 2023

United Way of Pierce County has offered a Fourteen Day Challenge to discover the interconnections between Diversity, Racism, Equity, and Access. This challenge began on August 1st through the 14th of 2023. Each day a different lesson was highlighted around the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, gender identity, sexual identity, and disability as they apply to a given individual or group. Intersectionality helps us to understand inequities when it is regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. Simply put, the identities that help to define us are interconnected and often compound one another. The hope of this journey is to inspire you to recognize and appreciate the diverse identities of you and of others! The Challenge is designed to help you learn how you can transition from being an ally to being a leader in the fight for equity. The entire Challenge will be available on the UWPC Community page. The rest of the content will be available as emails go live.


The link to the Community page is -