OGFOA: It All Ads Up

Posted on March 12, 2019


This post is by ELGL executive director Kirsten Wyatt (but you probably knew that already since the post title is a bad pun…).

I’m headed to Sunriver, Oregon today for a presentation at the Oregon Government Finance Officers Association Spring Conference. Their conference is themed around diversity, equity, and inclusion and they’ve asked me to present information on ELGL’s Diversity Dashboard project.

I wanted to use this blog post to recognize OGFOA for their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and local government leadership.

The national GFOA organization has also been a front runner in finding ways and opportunities to engage women and people of color in GFOA leadership, and measuring and sharing the diversity of GFOA members. OGFOA is taking a similar approach and focusing their conference on these topics.

This is notable because they don’t have to do this work. They could focus on the technical aspects of financial management and meet all of the expectations of many of their members.

They could side-step the challenging conversation that starts when they look at their membership demographics and ask: how do we make this organization more diverse and inclusive?

OGFOA is showing real leadership in this area and I’m proud to travel to their event and to talk about the Diversity Dashboard.

It’s a great fit too, since we use OpenGov to power the Diversity Dashboard – a financial dashboard tool that we’ve modified to measure diversity in leadership – and that is used by many local governments for financial dashboarding.

I’m also excited to share that the 2019 Diversity Dashboard survey is now live!

New in 2019 – we’re using a more intuitive survey tool thanks to PublicInput surverys. Data will be compiled in the Diversity Dashboard alongside 2018 data.

In 2018 we had 2,000 data points and our goal for 2019 is 5,000. We won’t get to that number without the grassroots support of the ELGL organization.

Because to be honest: not every organization is like OGFOA. We had far too many run-ins in 2018 with municipal associations that were wholly disinterested in the Diversity Dashboard for reasons ranging from “diversity isn’t a priority,” to “diversity is too political,” to “collecting this data is too much work.”

So I’m especially grateful to OGFOA and many other groups – plus the ELGL community – for their work to welcome more women and people of color to local government leadership. Our approach with the Diversity Dashboard is “what gets measured gets improved.”

We’re starting to tell the story about local government leadership, and the Diversity Dashboard describes to us what that leadership looks like now – and into the future too.

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