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  • Writer's pictureSertrice Shipley

Requesting Support for your Next DEI Council or ERG Event: A How-to Guide

Originally posted on the Mattingly Solutions Blog.


Employee resource groups, or ERGs, often are faced with the challenge of gaining organizational support, including funding, for their events and programming. Given this challenge, I have put together a how-to guide for submitting a Programming Request Form for ERGs, DEI councils, and other similar groups to use for their next event.


Step 1: Finalize the details of your event

Before submitting your event, you must first decide what type of event you want to plan! Some standard event types include:

  • Networking

  • Mentorship/Sponsorship programs

  • Management Training

  • Public Speaking Practice

  • Recruiting Events

  • Keynote speakers

  • Partner with external organizations for events (i.e., community service opportunities, fundraising, or other philanthropic events)

  • Develop scholarships

  • Book clubs

 

Events can be open to all employees or have targeted audiences (i.e., all employees vs women vs young professionals or a subset of an ERG or cross programming across different ERGs).



When establishing budget needs, the group should consider things like venue, supplies, food, speaker/activity cost, and other miscellaneous fees.


Groups should have at least one event per quarter and no more than one a month to keep things manageable. And most importantly, events should always connect back to the groups and/or organizations goals, values, and strategy.

 

Step 2: Submit a Programming Request Form

When requesting support for programming, there are many details to include. I have put together a template for a programming request form below:


  1. Group Name:

  2. Ex. committee, specific ERG, council, etc)

  3. Requestor’s name

  4. Requestor’s role in the council

  5. Date of event

  6. Name of event

  7. Location of event

  8. Could be virtual or in-person location

  9. Type of event –

  10. Ex. Philanthropic, Networking, Professional Development

  11. Brief description of event

  12. Goal of the event/intended outcomes

  13. DEI Strategic goal/value the event connects to

  14. These could be listed, allowing requestors to select the aligned option

  15. Amount of funding needed

  16. Any assistance needed from other departments

  17. Ex. marketing, L&D, etc

Some other key points to keep in mind for this form:

  • If possible, make this form electronic and add in barriers to how the responses can be provided (ex. date can be a date field, using checklists, make funding a numeric slot, etc.)

  • Examples include using your project management software (Monday, Trello, etc.), using Microsoft forms, or using google forms

  • Email a copy of the request to the requestor as well and the approval person.


Step 3: The Approval Process

As most of these groups have limited funding, it is important to have an approval process in place. It is also a good way to double check for duplicate events or opportunities for collaboration across groups.

 

Option 1: Some organizations choose to have a sub-committee dedicated to approving programming requests that have permission to approve requests under a certain dollar amount. When requests are over a certain dollar amount, the Executive sponsor would present their request to the Executive team for approval on behalf of the group.

 

Option 2: Other organizations use their existing DEI infrastructure (i.e., DEI manager, HR director, etc) for approving all programming requests.

 

There are other processes that exist as well. It’s important to determine the approval process that makes the most sense for your organization based on your available resources.


Looking to advance DEI through data-driven insights in your organization? Contact us at Plan to Action today to drive meaningful change, together.

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