FUND’s Diversity and Inclusion Framework


FUND Consulting is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace as well as in our industry at large. One of FUND’s core values is that we are committed to equity and our belief that diversity and inclusion make us stronger.

FUND’s DEI framework is based on both research and education. In 2018 and 2019, FUND Community Institute conducted research on the role of women in the CDFI industry and best practices of CDFIs that are recognized as being ahead of the curve in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. The purpose of the report was to share both innovative and replicable practices for use by other CDFIs in advancing their own diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. The results of the research can be found on www.fundci.org.

As a result of the subject matter immersion brought on by this research, the FUND team continued its engagement in the DEI arena by receiving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion education from the Yale School of Management. Currently, five members of the FUND team have certification from this program.

To use a common language, FUND uses the following Ford Foundation definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion:

  1. Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences, collectively and as individuals.
  2. Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all.
  3. Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.

Functionally, FUND subscribes to another useful context which emerged as part of its research on DEI for understanding these terms:

  • Diversity focuses on quantity: different identities and cultures
  • Inclusion focuses on quality: participation across identities and cultures
  • Equity focuses on justice: policies, practices, and procedures to ensure equitable outcomes

DEI Framework at FUND

In the past year, FUND has formally applied the following DEI best practices into its own business model:

  • Revised its core values to formally include DEI through a staff wide inclusive and collaborative process.
  • Conducted a salary review.
  • Designated a DEI organizational budget.
  • Identified an employee stakeholder group to champion DEI workplace support.
  • Revised its Employee Handbook to include formal DEI practices.
  • Included DEI goals in formal employee performance reviews.
  • Defined and implemented an inclusive process for organizational decision making.
  • Reexamined recruitment and hiring practices to foster increased diversity which included modifications to job requirements and inclusive interviewing and feedback process.
  • Created a DEI lens for all strategic projects.

DEI Framework for Strategic Projects

FUND employs the following protocols to ensure that DEI is integrated into all projects:

  • Guides the assembly of a formal project team that is diverse and inclusive of all levels of the organization.
  • Ensures that a DEI component is included as one of the guiding questions for the project.
  • Employs data collection methods that are inclusive and result in equitable outcomes.
  • Employs facilitation methods that address psychological safety and result in equity of voice.

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