What is it?
Fundraising for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) encompasses fundraising for both internal DEI initiatives and external community health initiatives. Common examples include:
Internal DEI initiatives
- Inclusive hiring/staffing practices
- Medical scholarships to increase diversity in provider pipeline
- Training/continuing education opportunities
- New system-level DEI roles (ex. Chief Diversity or Health Equity Officer)
- Board diversity
External community health initiatives
- Partnerships with community organizations
- Community programs that address the social determinants of health and health disparities
- Hospital or health system programs that connect patients to resources after their visit
Most development teams already fundraise for DEI in at least one of the ways above, but few have connected their efforts to a cohesive strategy. Development leaders should identify the internal DEI initiatives and external community health initiatives they are already funding and ensure they are accounted for in their own DEI strategy and aligned with that of their hospital or health system.
For many development leaders, fundraising for DEI has become synonymous with fundraising for community health. While funding programs that address the social determinants of health is one way to fundraise for DEI, it is certainly not the only way. Now is more important than ever for development teams to expand their definition of fundraising.