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DEI Commitment & Objectives

The Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) believes in creating an equitable, connected community. We aspire to be a courageous, inclusive, and collaborative space for nonprofits, their partners, and the communities we all serve by embracing diverse races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, religions, age groups, and abilities across all socioeconomic backgrounds. The CNM staff is committed to humbly examining ourselves by learning, unlearning, growing, and courageously holding ourselves and our community accountable by alleviating biases that stand in the way of equity, justice, and increased access to our programs and initiatives. 

Addressing Racial InequitiesAdvancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  

For far too long, communities of color have been abused and underrepresented. To combat past, present, and future injustices, the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) is committed to equity and positively impacting the nonprofit sector and the communities served across Middle Tennessee. CNM advances and supports practices that work to educate our nonprofit community, and the community at large whenever possible, so we all may better address social inequities that disproportionately impact communities of color. CNM is on a journey to become an inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural organization that values human diversity in all forms.  

DEI Defined at CNM

CNM recognizes that while diversity, equity, and inclusion can be defined differently, our operational definitions of the terms are as follows:   

Diversity: We define diversity as the mix of people from diverse backgrounds and a multitude of lived experiences, while recognizing and embracing individual differences, including but not limited to those represented by race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, and persons with disabilities and/or immigration status.

Equity: We define equity as an effort to promote fairness and justice within CNM’s procedures, policies, processes, and distribution of resources and services for those within the community. Improving equity requires an understanding and reckoning of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our institutions, systems, and society. 

Inclusion: We define successful inclusion as an environment in which diverse individuals participate fully in the decision-making processes within and outside of an organization. A space that invites, celebrates, values, and amplifies voices and perspectives that have been systemically ignored, erased or undervalued in past and present spaces. We at CNM are committed to changing this paradigm by fully engaging in the disruptive process required to provide equitable outcomes for the future. 

CNM’s Path Forward: Key Objectives  

As CNM strives to become a more equitable space in the nonprofit sector, we are evaluating our practices, processes, and organizational structure to ensure that barriers do not exist and that all have access to equal opportunities.  

Key objectives are paramount to our continued growth. We will track our progress through strategic goals and determine plans for implementation. Our team is committed to:   

  • Providing programming that works to facilitate conversations and offer educational opportunities to address economic disparities as well as the effects of systemic racism on areas including healthcare, education, and criminal justice. Post-program and event surveys will include DEI language.  
  • Reaching out to new and diverse nonprofits that have historically been left out of the conversation to invite them in and listen to their needs.  
  • Examining the varied biases inside of our systems and working to dismantle them.   
  • Listening to our colleagues and learning how to better show up as allies, and doing the hard work, including increased transparency, to get there.  
  • Including updated DEI language in the code of ethics document shared with facilitators and consultants; requiring that they sign a copy of our DEI Commitment.  
  • Executing an ongoing performance dashboard for DEI goals that is transparent and available to all staff of the organization. This should be a live regularly updated piece that tracks progress and pulses. 
  • Sharing bi-annual DEI updates with CNM staff, board, funders, and anyone else interested in accessing this information.  
  • Asking for feedback on DEI performance in stakeholder surveys, including members, non-members, staff, facilitators, consultants, board, funders, and anyone in the general public interested in weighing in. Share these findings in bi-annual DEI updates referenced above.  
  • Posting abbreviated version of our DEI Commitment on our website with a link to the full commitment and key objectives. The DEI survey mentioned above will be linked on the same page.  
  • Sharing regular features (social posts, interviews, presentations, etc.) on employees and leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • Continuing internal monthly DEI discussions with all staff led by an expert facilitator.  
  • Establishing an annual board member reflection survey that asks them to report on their perspective of the board’s status as a diverse and inclusive board. Update the 2022 board member commitment to include DEI language and require they sign our DEI Commitment. 

Looking for ways to dive deeper into DEI work? Explore upcoming opportunities below.


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