How can charities better reflect the people they serve?


By Pooja Khajuria, Consultant


The charity sector supports a diverse range of communities, people and causes, and yet this diversity is not reflected in its personnel, particularly at the management level.

Despite repeated attempts at drawing attention to this disparity, the representation and experience of minorities have not improved in this sector. Individuals from minority backgrounds have reported frequent experiences of discrimination and a lack of safe and accessible channels to raise concerns.

While these challenges are features of the wider society and not necessarily unique to the charity sector, they seem especially problematic in this sector since charity organisations are built on commitments to justice and equality, yet they often don’t represent their cause.

Last week we partnered with Stone King for a virtual event where we spoke to charities about how can they better represent the people they serve:

  1. Focusing on the right recruitment and career progression strategies –
  • widen candidate search
  • use inclusive language
  • include alignment with institutional vision in the recruitment criteria
  • create representative advisory boards to make leadership decision making more inclusive
  • provide opportunities to apply to senior positions when there are vacancies


  1. Creating safe and accessible channels for reporting –
  • promote affinity/support networks that provide staff members with an opportunity to connect
  • implement policies and processes to report negative experiences safely


  1. Defining ED&I aims and objectives –
  • define what equality, diversity and inclusion mean to your organisation
  • clarify your stance and values: your stance should be developed and tested with input and feedback from staff members
  • consider taking input from external experts who can provide different perspectives based on their lived experience and expertise


Investing in building diverse and inclusive teams has immense benefits. Inclusive organisations are more engaged, innovative, resilient and financially healthy. The charities that are more likely to understand the lived experiences of the people they serve and support them better




If you’re looking to start your ED&I journey, or need support with your agenda, do get in touch with us at and we’d be happy to talk to you.

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