WILMINGTON — The Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) has hired a new director of diversity & inclusion to spearhead more in-depth work in creating diverse and equitable nonprofit boards.Nadine Moone will lead DANA’s efforts to assist its members, nonprofit leaders and community members focused on rethinking the structure of the nonprofit board and the power it holds in Delaware’s communities.
[caption id="attachment_213161" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Nadine Moone will serve as the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement's first director of diversity & inclusion. The position was created after years of conversation, but formalized after nonprofit boards started to rethink equity and inclusion efforts. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DANA[/caption]
“DANA has a stellar reputation in advocacy when it relates to communities and nonprofits. While we are not the only organization that provides an eye to see which piece needs to be added, knowing that we will have the reach to connect with so many people in a broad way is exciting,” Moone told the Delaware Business Times. “I am excited to help shape DANA as a resource to attack structural disparities and to help effect change in a positive way.” Moone’s career spans nearly 15 years in human services. After graduating from Springfield College, she served as a case manager with Horizon House before transitioning to a position in training and development in 2006. At that time, there was not much conversation about cultural competency, so Moone developed a new curriculum and training initiatives.Moone has also served in leadership positions at Genesis HealthCare, Crosslands Retirement Communities and Five Star Senior Living. In the past three years, she has worked as a contractor with educators and community programs to bring diverse and equitable enrichment classes.
[caption id="attachment_200763" align="alignright" width="217"] Sheila Bravo President & CEO of DANA[/caption]
“We are delighted that Nadine has joined the team, if not for her enthusiasm and passion that exudes from her,” said Sheila Bravo, the president and CEO of DANA. “I’m thrilled that we can begin to realize our full potential in providing diversity, equity and inclusivity support for our members across the state of Delaware.”DANA, a membership organization that offers consulting and training opportunities to strengthen the First State’s nonprofit network, is the latest to create a diversity and inclusion officer position. Since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, corporations have grappled with making inclusive and equipable workplaces, often turning to adding a new C-Suite position to address systematic issues.Bravo said that the organization often works with a pool of 20 consultants to offer training and insights to its members, including some who focus on diversity and inclusion. DANA Vice President of Learning and Leadership Todd Pipkin heads the DEI consultants and is a “big champion of equity and inclusion,” but it was time to devote full-time resources to this effort through a full-time position.DANA first advertised the DEI position in early April, and Pipkin helped screen potential candidates. After the pool of candidates was narrowed and interviewed, they met with key DANA staff members and selected representatives from a few Delaware nonprofits. Moone started on July 13.“I really think the nonprofit community really woke up after last year, and the interest of exploring diversity within nonprofit boards has definitely increased,” Bravo told DBT in an April interview. “When you think about it, nonprofits are formed for the community and by the community. The board of directors should be reflective of those communities, because they are stewards of the charitable assets and they have influence on how that nonprofit engages with the community.”Nationally, nine in 10 chief executives and board chairs were white, as were 84% of board members, according to a 2017 BoardSource survey of nonprofit practices. The survey included results from 1,300 U.S. nonprofits. People of color did not represent more of 18% of board membership and 27% of respondents said their boards were all-white.The structure of nonprofit boards may differ from corporate C-Suite roles, as traditionally those seats are open to those who can assist with fundraising efforts with connections. Open seats at the table may also be filled by recruiting in existing board members' networks, which may result in the trend of white and wealthy board members rather than having a perspective of those who represent the community the nonprofit serves.“We’re really trying to create a nonprofit board culture that values diversity and inclusivity and making decisions with an equity lens,” Bravo said. “It’s not something that will happen overnight, but taking that first step is important.”Approaching nonprofits from a DEI training point of view, Moone said that the nonprofit sector’s unique challenges are the different funding sources within organizations of various sizes. Flexibility to meet each nonprofit’s different needs will be key moving forward.“Typically, nonprofits are under different guidelines and brands from each other, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” Moone said. “We're a small state, and we have an opportunity to build a great reputation of really advocating for organizations and creating relationships more authentically and frequently than larger states.”In the upcoming weeks, Moone said her primary goal is to establish and build relationships with members and stakeholders. The DANA membership is diverse in size, location and organization mission goals, so those relationships are critical to help understanding their needs and interests for future training or consulting opportunities.“Anyone can learn a new computer software system, but I think the relationship-building process and being able to establish that trust is foundational,” she said.