Our Equity Story: Budget

In December 2017, CNE created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force of board and staff and committed time to discussion and learning around these issues. Those discussions led to CNE making a significant financial commitment to DEI in late 2018 when all board and staff participated in an organizational DEI assessment facilitated by the Michigan Nonprofit Association. Through completing the assessment and participating in the review process, staff and board members began to see the extent of the change that our commitment to DEI was going to require and to recognize that substantial change doesn’t happen without dedicated funding. So, in April 2019, our Executive Director recommended to the board that we dedicate a line item to DEI work in the FY2020 budget.

The COVID-19 pandemic tested CNE’s resolve. We saw our earned revenue drop nearly 25% between March and June 2020. Despite that challenge, we not only maintained a line item for DEI work but increased the amount to ensure that we could continue to address issues of equity both internally and across the sector.

Related resources:

Building Equity into Nonprofit Finance (article)—how values are evident in financial statements

A Turning Point (article)—equitable and inclusive ways to navigate shrinking resources in the age of coronavirus

Personnel Strategies in the Face of Impossible Choices (webinar)—financially effective and equitable personnel strategies that uphold their values during an economic crisis