ASAE Debuts New Diversity + Inclusion Benchmarking Tool

April 29, 2013

The American Society of Association Executives recently introduced the first Diversity + Inclusion (D+I) tool for associations called the Association Inclusion Index.

It is an online, diagnostic tool that evaluates D+I policies, philosophies and practices against community standards.

The tool offers strategies and solutions for expanding an organization’s reach, relevance and reputation through practicing inclusive excellence.

“It’s critical for organizations to understand how diversity and inclusion plays a practical role in staffing, recruiting, retaining, and engaging members and volunteers,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE.

He added, “Whether you already have a diversity + inclusion commitment in place or are thinking about starting one, the Association Inclusion Index tool will provide CEOs of associations and nonprofit organizations with critical data points and communication tools to inform your employees, board of directors, and members about your results and next steps.”

The tool focuses on five key D+I performance domains in associations: Mission and Focus, Roles and Leadership Accountability, Resources, Operations, and Communication and Culture.

It also allows associations to benchmark their own practices and immediately provide stakeholders with critical data to direct their time and funds in meaningful ways.

In the future, associations who purchase the tool will be able to compare their results to their peers by industry, staff and budget size. ASAE will analyze D+I trends and create aggregate reports that will inform the community.

ASAE used various research methods to identify best practices and information related to D + I performance in nonprofits and association management. During the summer and fall of 2012, ASAE performed two rounds of beta testing to ensure the questions and responses yielded valid and reliable results.

“The first beta testing phase, in which I participated, immediately revealed which areas our association needed to improve in order to enhance our diversity and inclusion practices,” said Dr. Rosa Aronson, CAE, TESOL International Association executive director and D+I committee chair.

She added, “Associations can greatly benefit from taking the Association Inclusion Index tool because it implicitly creates a roadmap for an inclusive culture in your organization.”

The Association Inclusion Index is available to ASAE members for $199 and non-members for $299. For more information or to purchase the tool, please visit and click on “Association Inclusion Index” in the side menu.

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