DEIB Content Guide

We encourage AHP presenters to create experiences that embrace diversity in its many forms

AHP DEIB Content Guide

Purpose of Guide

The AHP Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Content Committee offers this content guide to support the greatest inclusivity possible in recruiting content contributors and reflecting our diverse membership in the content that is presented to the membership. For this document, "content" is defined as "the topics or matter treated in a written work and/or the principal substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music)" (Merriam Webster Dictionary) used in all materials to recruit board candidates, conference presenters, award candidates, etc.

Opening Statement

All communications, from written language to visual materials, presented in print and digital formats, signal our values and mission as an organization. The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as core principles. It is the job of all of us to reflect those principles as we engage and represent members. This guide was developed to support those intentions, offering practical ways in which we might apply the DEIB lens in all our communications, and strengthen our organization as a result.

We understand and support the importance of inclusion, safe expression, and appreciation of different points of view to create an atmosphere in which everyone has space to share openly. AHP encourages all members and organizations to use the content guide.

DEIB Content Checklist

Consider your geography/population

Consider the scalability of the topic as inclusivity is essential to ensure all individuals have an opportunity to gain knowledge that can be easily applied.

Videos and webinars

Wherever possible, should be ADA compliant. For example, videos should ideally have closed captions for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers.

Examine your images

Ensure that they do not reinforce gender and socioeconomic stereotypes. Examples include:

  • If the person wearing a doctor's coat is a white male and the person wearing a nurse's uniform is a woman of color, reconsider.
  • When showing physicians, patients, and donors/friends together, attempt to demonstrate cultural alignment. A patient or family of color shown in conversation with or being treated by a physician of color generates trust and challenges stereotypes.

Values in language, tone, and imagery

As essential qualities that inform everything we do, our values are reflected in language, tone, and imagery, from photographs to icons. The AHP brand personality contains these values and should be reflected consistently across all platforms. Racial and gender diversity should be evident in visual selections, in natural and communal ways (for example, avoid a single racial representation in an otherwise all-white or all-male group). General examples include:

  • Respect: Photography that is authentic, with actual community members, patients, and staff; Images that capture natural expressions and spontaneity; Direct eye contact and vibrant expressions
  • Caring: Photos or icons that convey warmth and vitality; Multiple demographics included in one shot, unless otherwise indicated by content; Community images that convey diverse, positive interactions

Resources for Promoting a More Inclusive Membership

We have prepared some resources to help facilitate a more inclusive community within our membership. You will find AHP’s guiding practices for language as well as tools to help our presenters to better engage participants from across our membership. We hope you will find these to be of value, and we look forward to an open dialogue on these topics as we expand our community.

Guide for AHP Content Contributors

As an AHP content contributor, you are an integral part of our best practice sharing network, and we value the knowledge you share with our membership. When preparing material for AHP, we encourage you to write with these principles in mind.

  • At AHP, we use our voice to engage in conversations that amplify our members, our mission, and our values.
  • We represent a global membership, and our work reflects a diverse perspective–not the viewpoint of a single person, group, or practice.
  • In lieu of gender-specific pronouns, we recommend writing in plural language. So, instead of "the contact, he" or, "the contact, he/she" we would encourage you to write, "the contacts, they" or, "the contact, they." Additionally, we ask that you not include any gender-specific pronouns for a person referenced in any written material unless you have first confirmed that is how that individual identifies.

Tools for Presenters

As an AHP presenter, we encourage you to create educational opportunities and experiences that embrace diversity in its many forms, expand the knowledge of healthcare philanthropy practitioners, and move our profession forward. As an organization, we make the following commitment.

We Pledge: to embrace the diversity of all individuals; to respect attributes such as sex, gender identification, race, ethnicity, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, physical ability, mental ability, and expression. We understand and support the importance of inclusion, safety of expression, and respect for different points of view. We pledge to always provide a safe, judgment-free atmosphere in which students have safe space to share openly.

In support of this commitment, we encourage each presenter and content provider to consider these three principals when preparing materials for AHP audiences.

  1. Gather Diverse Resources: As you create content for AHP, think about how your research sources, promotional materials, and additional presenters reflect the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Are a variety of voices or perspectives present in your offering? Will your audience see their experiences reflected in your session? How might you effectively promote your content among a diverse set of participants? How might you recruit others to join you?
  2. Set the Tone: To frame your presentation within a DEIB context, it is helpful for workshop leaders to lead by example. Don't be afraid to articulate your individual perspective, identity, values, and culture. Also consider how experiences of power and privilege may affect your approach and effectiveness and evaluate how these dynamics might impact your presentation.
  3. Be an Intentionally Inclusive Presenter: Inclusion requires active, intention, and ongoing efforts to promote the full participation and a sense of belonging for every participant. Speakers should attempt to create an equitable and inclusive environment. And while there will be those in any educational setting who don't wish to engage by speaking up in a session, take special care to include all those who want to participate. Speakers can be mindful of:
    • Alternating using your voice and making space for other voices
    • Practicing respectful communication and encouraging that among participants, including criticizing respectfully and constructively
    • Ensuring your placement in the room (if onsite) is free of physical barriers for everyone
    • Using pronouns proactively
    • Giving credit appropriately for ideas expressed in the session

Closing Statement

As always, we thank everyone who contributes their time, experience, and perspective to our community. Your willingness to share your expertise is what makes our community what it is, and we hope these additional considerations will add depth to our educational offerings that enhance the skills of healthcare philanthropy practitioners throughout the field.

We believe a diverse, equitable, and inclusive membership is a vibrant membership able to best deliver on better healthcare for all through philanthropy. We believe diversity is multi-dimensional, encompassing not just race and ethnicity but gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, experience, age, ability, class, and more. Embracing individual differences and fostering equity by eliminating barriers that prevent the full participation of all are critical to our mission of inspiring, educating, and serving our members as they work to transform healthcare through philanthropy.

Additional Resources
Article: Ditch Your ‘General Audience’ Approach: Every Audience Is Multicultural  
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina DEI Style Guide  
Boston Children’s Hospital brand guidelines 
Stanford Children’s Hospital brand guidelines (pages 53-58) 
California Community Fund Annual Report 
Peace Health website 
AdventHealth website 
USC Arcadia Hospital website 
Video: Gala 2022 - An Evening to Celebrate with Our Community 
Video: The Dream Show 2023: Goose the Barber, Legends 
Video: The Strength of Community 

Inclusive Language in
AHP Communications


Personal Pronouns

  • Use a person’s self-identified pronoun, including when a person uses the singular “they” 
  • Use “they” as a generic third-person singular pronoun to refer to a person whose gender or pronoun preference is unknown or irrelevant to the context of the usage
  • Do not use “he” or “she” alone as generic third-person singular pronouns. Instead, use combination forms such as “he or she” and “she or he” if you know that these pronouns match the people being described 

Ability and Disability

  • Avoid describing people as disabled, handicapped, or confined to a wheelchair 
  • Avoid terms that contribute to stigmas around disability or mental illness. Crazy, dumb, lame, insane, psycho 
  • If it is relevant and important to distinguish those elements of a person’s identity, focus on the person, not the identity. A baby with Down syndrome not a Down’s baby