New on VAN: Better, More Inclusive Data with Non-Binary Gender Options

April 24, 2017 | NGP VAN

NGP VAN is a progressive, mission-driven company that works every day to help Democrats and progressives change the world – whether they’re running for office or advocating for a cause. Taking our company’s values to heart, we believe the tools we build should reflect the values that matter to us and our clients –  of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, to name a few.

Historically and currently, the vast majority of software companies have excluded and continue to exclude non-binary folks from their systems. As someone who identifies as Gender Queer and used to identify as transgender, I know it’s a glaring industry problem that should be addressed. When I began hearing feedback from clients, friends, and coworkers who felt the same way as me, I decided to make some changes, which were long overdue.

Over the past few months, we spent time listening and thinking about how to make our platforms more inclusive and better reflect our values on this front. Beyond just inclusivity, it’s our goal to help campaigns and nonprofits build the most complete, accurate picture of their supporters, volunteers, and donors. That means allowing campaigns and nonprofits to address people correctly, use the right pronouns, and record supporters’ gender identities.

With that in mind, I’m excited to announce some small, but meaningful changes to VAN:

First, users now have the ability to assign non-binary gender pronouns to contact records, allowing campaigns and nonprofits to address their donors, supporters, or volunteers in a more appropriate way:

Also on an individual’s contact record, the “Race, Ethnicity, Language” page section has been changed to Self-Reported Demographics. Within this page section, users can apply multiple values per contact for the “Gender” drop-down using type-ahead searching or selecting the values from the dropdown: 

We listened to partners at leading organizations like the National Center for Transgender EqualityEquality TexasForward Together, and others in order to make these changes. Some people will say it’s about time – I agree.

We want to get this right, and still have room to improve. So please, let us know what you think – how can we make our tools even more inclusive and accurate? Email me here.