Commitment to Equity

MANP is committed to making and advocating for long-overdue changes needed to dismantle racist and oppressive practices in ourselves, our organization and nonprofit community. We recognize that MANP has both benefited from and contributed to systems that advantage people and organizations who already hold power, which reinforces and perpetuates barriers and biases and undermines our collective work to benefit the common good. We can and will do better.

This commitment is guided by a shared understanding that the greatest disparities are linked to race, and we – as an organization and many of us as individuals – benefit from and uphold a system of white advantage. At the same time, we recognize there are many interconnected systems of oppression and marginalization, including but certainly not limited to class, gender, and ability.  We must work to understand these nuances and intersections and to eliminate all disparities in access to power, money, and resources within our organization and the nonprofit sector.

We recognize that our commitment to advancing equity means practicing honest reflection, vulnerability, and ongoing learning — we will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from them and to improve. This commitment is an invitation to hold us accountable, and we encourage and welcome feedback and partnership as we examine, unlearn and reconstruct systems and cultures within our organization and the sector to be more equitable. We understand that meaningful and lasting change will only result from working in community and over time with many voices and organizations. We are grateful for the collaboration and dedication of many mentors and colleagues in this work.

As we continue this long-term listening and learning, we are investing time and resources to explore and act upon the following questions so that we can make transformative changes within our organization and the sector: 

  • What will we shift in order to center equity and the leadership of historically disadvantaged organizations in our network and the nonprofit sector?
  • How will we transform our network by building our culture and practices together with diverse organizations?
  • How can we advocate for the equitable distribution of power and resources within the sector?
  • How are we causing harm in our work and how can we repair it?
  • How do we effectively exercise our own power, while honoring and building power with those who have historically been disadvantaged in our sector?

We believe that nonprofits are catalysts, co-creators and champions for a more just and equitable world, and we also recognize that we must start with ourselves. We invite and encourage others to learn and act alongside us as we live into this commitment.

Our Commitment in Practice

Our current steps and projects related to our equity commitment include but are not limited to:

Internal Structures, Policies & Practices: 

  • Integrating recommendations based on 70 stakeholder interviews and equity consultant analysis across MANP’s culture, policies and programs with both short-term and longer-term steps.  
  • Prioritizing ongoing learning, discussion, and reflection opportunities for staff and board on equity, diversity and inclusion topics, both as individuals and as teams. This is complemented and supported by access to professional coaching to put these learnings into action. 
  • Investing in a healthy workplace culture that allows for rest, reflection and celebration.
  • Established a staff workgroup and board workgroup on equity to hold us accountable to our commitment and integrate an equity lens throughout all staff and board work.
  • Prioritizing racial, ethnic and geographic diversity in board recruitment, and updating board orientation and meeting practices to increase engagement and inclusion.
  • Working to avoid potential bias in hiring through updated practices in recruitment, resume review and interview practices, such as redacting personal identification on resumes. 
  • Conducting a personnel policies audit and revision to better reflect our commitment to equity.
  • Standardizing a practice of sharing and asking about pronouns in MANP communications and programs.

External Programs and Services:

  • Established an extensive collection of resources on equity, diversity and inclusion in our free online Answer Center. (Recommendations for new resources welcome!)
  • Increasing access to MANP membership through sliding scale dues and offering dues flexibility to meet the needs of our individual members; offering pay-what-you-can pricing and scholarships to make educational programs more financially accessible.
  • Hosting and partnering with colleagues across the country to offer learning opportunities on topics related to equity, diversity, inclusion, including race and racism in the nonprofit sector.
  • Researching and incorporating examples of alternative governance and management models in our programs, communications and personalized support.
  • Amplifying diverse voices and perspectives in our programs and communications.
  • Modeling and educating our audience about how pay transparency can increase equity in hiring by requiring salary information on our Job Board.

These examples are a step in our commitment to transparency. We will continue to expand upon and update this list as our work and learning continues.