October 30, 2023

The Power of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Nonprofits

Lyn Wineman

Why Nonprofits Must Embrace DE&I as a Marketing Strategy

As socially responsible marketers in the nonprofit sector, we understand the importance of incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) into our messaging. But have you ever wondered how crucial DE&I is as a business strategy for our organizations? According to a recent Forbes leadership document, DE&I is not just a moral imperative; it’s a vital strategy for growth, especially in the competitive landscape of the 21st century. Major enterprises like Facebook, universities, trade organizations, and social advocacy groups are now unearthing statistical evidence that emphasizes the profound impact of diverse and inclusive messaging on both commerce and culture. Let’s delve into nine recent examples that drive home this essential point:

  1. A Facebook Advertising study revealed that 71% of people worldwide expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their online advertising. Consumers now demand to see themselves better represented in ads, with accurate reflections of the diversity present in their communities, encompassing race, gender, sexual orientation, and people with disabilities.
  2. Another Facebook Advertising study conducted various simulations to test the impact of different messaging strategies on ad recall. Astoundingly, in 90% of these simulations, diversity emerged as the top-performing strategy.
  3. The Heat Test Report, developed by researchers from Duke University and the University of Texas at Austin, validated that brands with the highest diversity in their messaging witness an impressive 83% higher consumer preference.
  4. An eye-opening statistic from Facebook Advertising reveals that 54% of consumers surveyed do not feel fully culturally represented in the advertising they encounter. This insight is an actionable guide for tailoring messages to resonate with a broader audience.
  5. Microsoft Advertising studies indicate that 70% of Gen Z consumers place more trust in advertising that showcases diversity. With Gen Z’s collective buying power nearing $150 billion, this generation is a force to be reckoned with.
  6. Millennials are another significant market segment, and the Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey shows that over 69% of them are more likely to choose a brand that actively demonstrates inclusion and diversity in its promotion and offerings.
  7. The GLAAD LGBTQ Inclusion Study underscores that 82% of people believe marketing efforts targeted at LGBTQIA+ audiences reflect a brand that values all forms of diversity. This emphasizes that “diversity” is a multifaceted concept.
  8. PQ Media’s study for the Association of National Advertisers Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing emphasizes the stark discrepancy between the multicultural population’s representation (40% of the U.S. population) and the meager 5.2% of total ad and marketing spends that target this market. Closing this gap will allow us to connect with a more extensive and diverse audience.
  9. Returning to the Heat Test Report, it reveals that one in four people live with a disability, constituting 25% of our population. However, only 1% of advertising messages represent people with disabilities, a significant oversight in marketing campaigns.

These nine points shed light on the critical role of DE&I in marketing. People care deeply about this subject, both as consumers and citizens, and their purchasing decisions are influenced by a company’s advertising approach to DE&I. As nonprofits, we must bridge the gap between our professed values and the stories conveyed through our marketing materials.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Let’s continue the conversation on the importance of DE&I in nonprofit marketing. If you need a hand, contact us. To see more marketing tips for nonprofits, go to KidGlov.com/nonprofit.