Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The American population will look radically different in the coming decades, and with it, our workforce and the communities we serve. As a sector, we must address past inequities and embrace future opportunities if we are to live up to our missions to provide for the common good.

Working from a broad definition of diversity to include gender, race/ethnicity, age, economic status, sexual orientation/gender identity, religion, and physical ability, this focus area considers issues pressing to the sector such as boards and leadership, talent recruitment and retention, equity, inclusion, and the business case for DEI. It also considers how these areas impact organizations’ ability to serve diverse communities more effectively.

This focus area was curated in partnership with


About the resources

The resources presented here were selected by Independent Sector in partnership with ProInspire, an expert in the field of talent development and increasing social sector diversity. ProInspire leveraged their experience in the field and conducted extensive research into the landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion to identify the top resources supporting effective practice. The diversity, equity, and inclusion focus area was also informed by an advisor, Dr. Judith Weisinger of Bucknell University, who contributed her expertise in the academic and practitioner realms.

These resources mark our first compilation of content, and will expand over time to include additional sub-topics, emerging thinking and best practices, and recommendations from the field.

The diversity, equity, and inclusion focus area begins with a focus on racial/ethnic diversity in the boards, leadership, and staff of charitable sector organizations, including recruiting and retaining diverse talent. Over the coming months, we will add resources that explore the following sub-topics, across a broad range of diversity lenses (gender, race/ethnicity, age, economic diversity, sexual orientation/gender identity, religion, physical ability, and intersectionality):

  • Primers and definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • The business case for diversity
  • Recruitment and selection of diverse talent
  • Retention and building diverse and inclusive teams
  • Leadership and boards
  • Serving diverse stakeholders and equity in programs and services