How to Demonstrate Federal Compliance on the Personnel Selection of Your Grant Application

Equity is created when you manage a program in such a way that no one is excluded. All the individuals hired with grant funds and all the members of the target population (those people the grant funds will help) must be given equal access to program opportunities — to be participants (target population) and to be hired (your project staff) without discrimination.

You show equity by opening your project to all who apply, providing they meet objective eligibility criteria. Funders want assurances that you won’t violate federal or state antidiscrimination laws.

Federal and state funders mandate a grant application section on equity. Foundations and corporations usually don’t have anything on equity in their guidelines, but including a paragraph on the subject to show your awareness of the issue doesn’t hurt.

When evaluating the statement of equity, the grant reader asks the following key questions:

  • Does the grant applicant propose to assign or hire project personnel who reflect the demographics of the community and target population to be served under the grant funding?

  • Does the grant applicant embrace a sense of fairness to all human beings?

Use these quick-and-easy tips for writing the equity section without stress:

  • Ask human resources for help. Some grant application guidelines require that your equity statement actually cite the federal and state legislation that your organization adheres to in its hiring practices. Your human resources department can give you information on the acts you need to cite.

  • Address equitable access for everyone. The equity statement should include personnel (including the selection of volunteers for the project) and project participants.

  • Be straightforward and make a statement. Writing that discrimination will not be tolerated is important. Cite the federal and state antidiscrimination laws to which your organization will adhere.

The following example received high peer review points. Notice how the example addresses the makeup of program personnel and how the personnel will be recruited as well as makes a statement regarding discrimination and fair employment practices:

The Ready for the World Future Forward Initiative will assign and/or hire staffing for the grant-funded project. All staff and volunteers having direct contact with clients will reflect the target population’s demographics, culture, and have a demonstrated cultural competency of the individuals served. All staff and volunteers will complete a 16-hour cultural diversity training provided by Model State University.

Following the training, staff will participate in role plays, trading the roles of mentee and mentor. The role plays will be observed and videotaped for affirmation of cultural competency.

It is the policy of the Ready for the World Future Forward Initiative not to engage in discrimination or harassment against any person irrespective of gender, race, color, disability, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, religion, or social or ethnic origin. The center will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations.

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