WHY THIS TOOLKIT?
We wrote this toolkit to help support organizers, leaders of organizations and funders in their attempts to express their values more fully in the treatment of nonprofit staff.
Throughout the research conducted by Staffing the Mission and All Due Respect, we frequently heard requests to help nonprofit organizations get more specific about the types of changes they could consider to align their values and practices in service of their mission.
We don’t intend to offer rigid prescriptions, and we know that each of those choices must be made in the context of an organization’s size, budget and culture. If something in this toolkit seems like it doesn’t apply to you, we encourage you to focus instead on the pieces that do. But if something seems impossible, we also encourage you to think about why, and about what it would take to create the conditions where aspirational policies could become part of your organization’s practice.
We offer this toolkit as a living and dynamic document, full of our own experiences and ideas. If you think of ways to add something missing, or amend something that doesn’t land quite right, please reach out and help make this the strongest tool it can be: [email protected].
Disclaimer: Users should not construe any information in the toolkit as legal advice. We are not experts in state labor laws, and we don’t know your specific situation. But we hope you will find some recommendations useful to you and your organization’s journey towards equity.
WHO WE ARE
Dr. Betsy Leondar-Wright (she/her), lead writer, is a veteran of 30+ years of burnout jobs at economic justice nonprofits, including one coordinating a statewide pay equity coalition, three community organizing jobs, and two as Executive Director of severely underfunded nonprofits. She was the Communications Director at United for a Fair Economy (UFE) for 9 years. She coordinates the Staffing the Mission project on improving nonprofit jobs as a board member at the national anti-classism organization Class Action. For UFE, Class Action and other organizations, she has facilitated more than 250 popular education workshops around the US and the UK. As an Associate Professor of Sociology at Lasell University, she teaches about race and class inequality and social movement strategy. She is the author of Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures, and a co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the US Racial Wealth Divide.
Kevin Simowitz (he/him), co-director of All Due Respect, has worked for nearly two decades as an organizer, campaign manager and political strategist. As a consultant, Kevin works with leading political and advocacy organizations to develop creative and successful campaign strategies for some of the most pressing legislative issues at the state and federal levels, and works with foundations to sharpen the ways that philanthropy can be of service to movement organizations. As the Political Director at Caring Across Generations, Kevin led the coalition to pass the Kupuna Caregivers Act, a first-of-its-kind initiative to support family caregivers of older adults, and also co-led the 2018 Homecare for All ballot initiative campaign, demonstrating the robust grassroots support for an innovative new model of care. At Maine People’s Alliance, Kevin worked as the Organizing Director and directed the Maine Small Business Coalition, coordinating the membership development and political program for more than 3,000 Coalition members. Kevin is a board member of Renew New England.
Alicia Jay (she/her) is a certified coach and organizational leadership expert who has spent the last 16 years driving change on behalf of social justice activists and organizations, with a focus on gender justice. As a consultant, Alicia works with foundations and organizations to ensure their work is having effective, radical impact. In 2018, Alicia helped launch The League, a cultural engagement firm integrating creative communications, cultural organizing, and narrative shift strategies into traditional civic engagement work. She also served as a co-founder and the Managing Director of Make It Work, a three-year national advocacy campaign advancing economic security issues for women and families. Alicia has helped mobilize millions of women through intersectional campaigns and events like the We Won’t Wait coalition, the United State of Women Summit, and the Survivors’ Agenda; built the capacity of grassroots organizations through grantmaking at the Atlantic Philanthropies and as an organizational development consultant; and trained the current and next generation of social change leaders through Young People For, the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program, and as a coach working with hundreds of emerging leaders.
Kinzie Mabon (she/they), Former Deputy Director of All Due Respect, has worked as an organizer, field director, mentor and trainer for the last 8 years focusing on voting rights, voter registration and mobilization, community and coalition building, and developing a leadership pipeline for organizers. In her role as Field Director at the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, she focused on building organizational capacity for member organizations working on a multitude of issues, including voting rights, women’s rights, TLGBQIA2S+ rights, anti-racism and a wide range of economic issues. Their proudest accomplishments in this role were their development of Organizer School, a comprehensive training and placement program for organizers in the Nebraska nonprofit community, and their service as a member of the inaugural National Coordinating Committee for the State Voices network. Kinzie also serves as the board president of OutNebraska.
Flavian Philip (she/her), Staffing the Mission intern, is a recent graduate of The City College of New York (CUNY). Within the past 5 years, she’s interned for a plethora of nonprofit organizations focused on issues such as voting rights, anti-Semitism and the statistical misrepresentation of communities of color. Her passion for deconstructing isms like classism, racism and sexism motivate her aspiration of becoming a public interest lawyer in the near future.
We are grateful to everyone who gave input and feedback during the process of creating this toolkit.
The inspiration for this toolkit came from “Practicing What We Preach,” a manual for organizers published by the National Organizers Alliance in 2001.
Thanks to our reviewers for their thoughtful comments:
- Patricia Benevenia, The TK Foundation
- Gabriel Cabán Cubero, Staffing the Mission’s (StM) Nonprofit Outreach consultant
- Margi Clarke, organizational strategy consultant, StM Advisory Council member
- Kim Fellner, former Executive Director of the National Organizers Alliance and StM Advisory Council member
- Lyn Freundlich, nonprofit HR consultant at Change For Good Coaching and Consulting; her expertise was foundational to these recommendations.
- Laurie Goldman, Senior Lecturer in Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning at Tufts University and StM Advisory Council member
- Jasmine Hall, Compasspoint and StM Advisory Council member
- Ann Philbin, Executive Director of Class Action
- Mala Nagarajan of Vega Mala Consulting and RoadMap
- Ayushi Vig, founding staff member of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project and StM’s Philanthropy Outreach consultant
- Tiffany Wilhelm, Opportunity Fund (Pittsburgh) and StM Advisory Council member