Today we celebrate International Pronouns Day!
What is International Pronouns Day?
International Pronouns Day occurs on the third Wednesday of October. The goal of this day is to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace in both personal and professional environments.
Why do we celebrate?
The International Pronouns Day website states, “…referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.”
Why is it important to us at Network For Good?
Network for Good embraces the significance of this day – not just as a company, or as a brand, but as Do-Gooders ourselves. We recognize that sharing our pronouns in the workplace normalizes the act of providing your pronouns when asking someone else for theirs. It allows us to address our colleagues, customers, and nonprofit community members correctly. We respect and embrace all identities.
We wanted to share some of our identities with you!
What are we doing to create a more inclusive environment?
First and foremost, we strive to educate ourselves! Here is a list of resources we circulated internally:
- MyPronouns.org – What Are Personal Pronouns and Why Do They Matter?
- Out And Equal – What’s Your Pronoun? A Guide for Inclusion in the Workplace
- The Muse – A Guide to Using Pronouns and Other Gender-Inclusive Language in the Office
- The HRC Foundation – Talking About Pronouns in the Workplace
Why should it be important to your nonprofit?
In a past webinar, Donors ARE Data, T. Clay Buck (he/him) and Lindsay McCreary (she/her) shared information on how to create equity and inclusion in your donor data practices. They shared with us that donors tell us who they are and what they need from their relationship with us by the information they provide: who they are, why they give, and what matters to them. It’s up to us to ensure we’re listening and treating them with dignity and respect, and their proper pronouns are an important aspect of doing so.
But what if our processes are not inclusive? Could we be misrepresenting our donors? What’s the result?
Look at the numbers: In the webinar, Clay pointed out that if you have 25,000 names in your database and they’re responsible for a total of about 1.1 million dollars, every record is worth about $44 on average. If we assume that 1% of data goes bad every year (it’s actually closer to 6 to 8%), that means in one year you’ve lost $11,000 on bad data quality alone.
As that compounds year over year, if you do nothing to address the quality of your data, you see that loss grows: add last year’s 250 records to this year’s 250 records, and in year two you are up to 20 grand. Over 5 years, we’re talking about $50,000 lost just because of bad data.
What if the data is bad because we didn’t recognize the donor the way they wanted to be recognized? What if the data is bad because we made assumptions about their gender or their marital status or their pronouns? If we don’t represent our donors well, they drop out.
Plus, to quote Clay, “Honestly, it’s just the right thing to do.”
What can your nonprofit do?
First and foremost, do your research. Ask questions to be informed, open, and vulnerable. Understand your donors and the community you serve.
Next, seek out opportunities to learn more. Try to find opportunities to experience “the other side.” And learn about your own and your team’s implicit/unconscious biases and be open to challenging those biases (P.S. We ALL have inherent biases!).
Finally, question and change your practices.
- Do you need to require information on gender identity on your donation or registration forms? If you do, ask yourself why. If you are, that’s OK, but make sure you allow for free form responses or other options besides male and female.
- Capture names correctly. Do you ask your donors how they would like to be recognized? Add a custom field in your donation form to be sure!
- Think about eliminating honorifics (Mr./Mrs./Ms.) OR collect all possibilities and allow the donor to choose their titles (Mx./Dr.).
- Routinely provide donors with the opportunity to update their data.
Last but not least!
It’s okay to make mistakes! We are imperfect. It’s about the work we do to correct ourselves, and about the opportunity to grow as people, and as a community.
Published: October 20, 2021