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The Inclusion Revolution: Even Richer Than Diversity

Cutting edge. Inspiring. Worth replicating. That’s how Ontario’s diversity and inclusion efforts are viewed in other places, according to Krishan Mehta, vice president of inclusion and equity at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Greater Toronto Chapter.

That’s why his chapter, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Canada and the AFP Ottawa Chapter have launched a three-year project focused on understanding philanthropic habits, customs and interests in several Ontario communities.

“We have come to see that our community and province will prosper when everyone has an opportunity to be secure, to be cared for and to demonstrate their care for others,” he stated at the launch event October 1.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Charles Sousa echoed Mehta’s remarks. “People want to give when they feel understood,” Sousa noted. “The government is committed to seeing that the not-for-profit sector gets the support it deserves.” Through his ministry’s Partnership Project, the provincial government is helping to fund the project.

Ambitious title and goals

The official title is a long one: From Diversity to Inclusion in Philanthropy: An Action Plan for Ontario’s Charitable and Not-for-Profit Sector.

Its goals are equally ambitious:

  • Developing cultural competencies on philanthropy;
  • Refining identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship tools;
  • Learning about best practices in charity promotion within diverse communities;
  • Gaining better appreciation of the diversity found within various groups; and
  • Offering cross-cultural networking opportunities and research development.

With administrative help from AFP Toronto Chapter, the group will consult within twelve clusters, including South Asians, Chinese, Jewish, African-Caribbean, Muslim, Hispanic and Indigenous communities. They will also examine philanthropy with respect to women, GLBT groups, people with disabilities, youth and Francophone-Ontarians.

An advisory panel within each cluster will convene a conference, and AFP will collect and record the resulting data and insights. By 2015, the group expects to have online resources available and a manuscript in preparation.

The project’s greatest hope, Mehta explained, is to learn “how to strengthen our charities with a distinct eye on inclusion.”

For more information,, @inclusivegiving

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