Best Practices

You want to create/run an allies club but aren’t sure where to start... Here are tips to get you going.

Foundation

Mission Statement
Not all allyship programs are the same, and so mission statements will vary. Here are a few ways to think about framing your mission statement... (read more)

Theory of Change
A Theory of Change (TOC) describes how your programs will lead to your desired outcomes – i.e. how the transformative change happens. The value of a TOC comes from having to clearly connect your efforts to specific outcomes that constitute the "missing middle"... (read more)

Curriculum, Goals, and Metrics
You have an amazing but difficult role as a leader for an allyship club. It's important and there's so much to do and think about. With the amount of considerations at hand and limited time, it's easy to simply repeat whatever your predecessor did and/or jump into action without clarifying your goals and curriculum. Resist the urge... (read more)

Relationship to Partner Group
Almost all allyship groups have official ties to their partner groups (i.e. Women in Leadership, Women in Business, etc). This structures the accountability essential to do allyship work properly... (read more)

Membership

​The Allyship Journey
People are at different places when it comes to recognizing the extent to which identity and appearance shape lives and opportunities and what actions they're willing to take against these inequities. Everyone is unique and the journey is windier than it is straight... (read more)

Defining Membership
Being an ally is inherently about making a commitment to become more conscious and behave with more integrity. Defining the characteristics of an "ally" is already difficult, and adding questions about membership in an allyship group makes things even more complicated.... (read more)

Deciding Who to Target
Deciding your target audience shapes your programming in two ways. One, it shapes your outreach for events, newsletter signups, and membership signups. You'll naturally communicate differently, and you'll need more effective strategies if you're attempting to get participation from more reluctant people... (read more)

Recruiting
Recruiting is primarily about communicating the importance of allyship, awareness, and action. Communication isn't just the content of the message, but how it's delivered and who is delivering it. When it comes to communication there is a tradeoff between quality and quantity... (read more)

Your Team

Leadership Team
You can't do it all yourself (even if you have a co-leader), and don't expect folks from your Partner Group to have time to help you out. While there's always a bit of an efficiency loss via splitting up duties and delegating tasks, going from a leadership team of one-two to five-six can have a huge impact.... (read more)

Volunteer Management
You have an opportunity to create a vibrant community around the principles of allyship using these same six themes. People naturally want to be a part of a community and live with purpose. This kind of allyship group does both... (read more)

Allyship Lead, Program Leads, and Board descriptions
Allyship group lead; Program leads; Allyship board seats... (read more)

Allyship Training
One of the biggest successes these programs have is truly equipping those who care with more tools to be better allies. A marketing professor said, "the easiest people to sell to are the ones who need the least persuading"... (read more)

Events and Programming

Event and Program Library
Look through our event and program library to see many different options that allyship programs have successfully done...  (read more)

Event and Program Objectives and Evaluations
You've spent time articulating and thinking generally about your Theory of Change (TOC), goals, curriculum, and metrics. You want to bring this same forethought to each of your events and programs too (don't worry if this sounds like a ton of work – most of it is already done for you)...  (read more)

Choosing Events and Programming
Spend some time picking a good balance of programs and events. Different factors to consider include: target audience, depth, frequency, time and resources required, conceptual understanding vs personal investment vs practice time... (read more)

Intersectionality
Intersectionality is a term coined by Legal and critical race scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw, that describes how social identities - gender, race, education, class, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc - overlap or intersect.... (read more)

Funding

Funding from Partner Group
Many partner groups subsidize some allyship events. There are differing opinions on this. Some groups focus on principles: it's absurd that women would subsidize a group catering to men, and so they don't provide money. Others groups focus on impact... (read more)

Other Funding Sources
You're an MBA student. If you put together a successful application to a great business school program, you can also find ways to get funding. Membership dues, corporate sponsorships, student government, program office, university funds... (read more)

Communication

Skepticism and Pushback
There are people who think that gender and race don't create real obstacles for people and that discussion about identity and privilege means being oversensitive... (read more)

Framing Your Work
It's very common of well-meaning people to focus on "helping" the group they want to be an ally to. But the most important initial action to take is to focus on becoming more aware.... (read more)