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Inclusion Climate Survey for Arts Nonprofit Members

with Barbershop Harmony

Inclusion Climate Survey for Arts Nonprofit Members_banner.png

Client: Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS)

Nationwide Non-Profit Arts Organization with 20,000 members

Dates of project: 2022 - 2023

Type of Project: DEI Assessment, Education and Consulting



Culture Shift Team supported the client’s mission of Everyone in Harmony as the organization made intentional efforts to include women and ethnic minorities in the 20,000 member historically-male arts organization. The scope of work included leadership training, a survey of member demographics and members’ attitude towards diversity and inclusion strategy.


Action Plan included:

  • Developed communication strategy with key messaging from BHS president on the importance of data to the vision of Everyone in Harmony, ensuring that members were aware of the importance of data collection.

  • Surveyed 20,000 members to identify and establish baseline data of demographics,identity in regards to sex, race, ethnicity, and other identifiers. The goal was 10% participation based on previous member surveys.

  • Conducted pilot sessions of structured reflective dialogue to college qualitative data around experiences and attitudes toward inclusion. The sessions also serve to train volunteer facilitators to  help gather qualitative data from events outlined below. Volunteer facilitators came from two key groups of stakeholders: the diversity committee, composed of internal staff, and the IOPT (Inclusion Operations Task Force) made up of organizational members who volunteered to help support the vision of inclusion. Volunteer facilitators were trained in the process and structure to prepare them to lead a small group session and collect data from these sessions. After the pilot sessions, preliminary data was affinitized to identify key themes.

  • Deployed 9 structured, reflective dialogue (SRD) sessions to collect qualitative data. The goal for sample size was 275 - 375 to attain at least 90% confidence with a 5% margin of error for membership of 20,000. Data was affinitized after all events.

    • Inclusion Salon at international convention in July 2019, with support from volunteers trained to facilitate the reflective dialogue sessions around attitudes and behaviors about inclusion.  Affinitize data themes. 32 participants in this session.

    • Conducted SRD sessions at Harmony University regional event in July 2019, with 7 participants.

    • Conducted remote SRD sessions with District Presidents, including 18 participants.

    • Conducted remote SRD sessions in select chapters, facilitated by member volunteers, in Fall 2019. 22 participants in these sessions.

  • Developed final report draft of membership demographic data and discussed themes gathered through affinitization of qualitative data gathered via SRD sessions. Gathered client input to help narrate themes. The report served as a benchmark for a five-year strategic plan, established on a foundation of organization-wide inclusion.

  • Supported organization by providing tools to share the final draft of the report and relevant findings.  Communication tools included a written report, president’s video and podcast, and a remote accessible webinar presentation.

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