More and more, universities are seeing how necessary it is to have a thriving diversity and inclusion program. But universities must dig deeper, too. They must create communications that show how welcoming they are. They must speak to everyone, not just the students. They must show that they are a university for all, not just a select few.
How are you talking to them? How are you creating programming for them? How are you showing them that you're committed to creating a safe, open, and welcoming place for them? What materials are you building that show you are committed to diversity? If I'm looking at your university, and I'm a professor, how do I know yours is a university that will welcome me?
Your custodial staff, your administration, your behind-the-scenes people -- they deserve to have their stories told. They deserve to know that you have them in mind. You must make them feel part of the community. Heard, valued, and represented. Why? Because they make your university run. because this is what keeps them there. This is what makes them feel passionate about coming to work each day. You want to decrease turnover, then you have to talk to them. You want a dedicated staff? This is how you do it.
Students are the voice of your university. Are you really listening to them? Are you creating materials that speak to their individual needs and identities? And let's go even further. What are you doing about the divides you're seeing? How are you having the tough conversations? What programs are you putting in place? Do they feel like their story is being told? How are you celebrating every group? Veterans, students of color, religious groups, LGBT groups. When we have our stories told, when we try to open the lines of communication, then we succeed.
Do they know what you're doing on campus? Do they know you just opened that LGBTQ Center? Do they know what programs you offer? Engage them. Reach out to them. Celebrate their achievements as much as you do your own. Tell their story, too. The result: a lifelong donor. Stories lead to engagement. Engagement leads to connection. Connection leads to increased giving.
Connecting with these four groups will go a long way in building community, increasing donor dollars, bringing kids to your school, and keeping your staff happy. Want to know more? Talk to us.