Amid the convergence of demographic, social, and technological shifts in America, many nonprofit membership organizations face the challenge of starting or sustaining diversity and inclusion (D+I) practices. Not all nonprofits have a D+I practitioner on staff to guide organizational efforts, or thousands of dollars to spend on consultants and customization of tools intended for the private sector. Yet, regardless of resources, many have expressed a need to better understand, and operate with a focus on, D+I.

With this in mind, ASAE leveraged the collective intelligence of 75 nonprofit professionals to design the Association Inclusion Index, an easy-to-use and affordable web-based instrument for nonprofit leaders to measure their D+I performance relative to nonprofit peers.

ASAE’s Inclusion Index is the first and only D+I benchmarking instrument of its kind designed specifically for the nonprofit sector. By answering 82 multiple-choice questions on behalf of the organization, the user receives real-time quantitative results and downloadable resources to help take D+I performance to the next level.

“Now, instead of benchmarking against corporate practices, nonprofit membership organizations can assess the absence or presence of D+I policies and practices against nonprofit community standards and chart a way forward,” says Alexis Terry, ASAE’s Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “We break the topics into five areas to create ‘bite-sized topics’ that you can learn from. We also take all of the guesswork out of data analysis and interpretation, and provide actionable insights immediately.”

The tool also provides opportunities for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Users can download D+I models and samples of policies, programs, and practices, and submit their own examples for peers to use.

“Many nonprofit membership organizations out there today have 10 or fewer full-time employees,” says John Graham, President and CEO of ASAE. “We wanted every organization to know your employee base doesn’t need to be a certain size for you to make gains in diversity and inclusion.”

Organizations use the Inclusion Index to give them clarity about how to create an inclusive environment, greater understanding of the difference between diversity and practicing inclusion, a shared view of what to focus on in D+I, and where to deploy organizational resources, plus ideas about when and how to leverage the role of the CEO, board, senior staff, and volunteers in increasing opportunities for diverse professionals. Users also leverage the Inclusion Index to inform the direction and key priorities for their D+I strategic planning processes.

Since its launch in April 2013, 43 organizations have employed the Index to help them evolve their diversity and inclusion practices.

Access to the index—including instant quantitative and qualitative results, and downloadable resources —is just $199 for ASAE members and $299 for nonmembers.

To learn more about the Inclusion Index, visit www.asaecenter