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Where people feel Invited, Welcomed and Included

Kids Running
Volunteers Packing Food
Little League Team Hands In
Disabled Athletes in Sports Hall

The Belonging Framework is a unique, participant-centered strategic design approach that helps inform the co-creation and development of an organization's cultural and strategic future-state by embedding Belonging as an intentional outcome. It focuses on 3 pillars, where everyone feels INVITED, WELCOMED, and INCLUDED and helps in the recruitment and retention of people of all identities, abilities, cultures, faiths, histories, motivations, lived experiences, and intersectionalities.


INVITED - The way people are informed about and asked to join your programs, spaces and opportunities that motivates, inspires, and leads them to show up.

  • What are the cultures, behaviours, and understanding participants experience or observe before participating that affects their decision to show up?

  • How are you using language and imagery, creating spaces, storytelling, building representative staffing compliments, creating varied program options, utilizing word of mouth marketing, and creating invitations based on feelings rather than the traditional marketing approach of informing people of opportunities?

WELCOMED - The cultures, behaviours, and understanding participants experience or observe when they arrive or begin participating that makes them feel comfortable, important, and accepted.

  • Once people arrive in your programs, spaces, and opportunities, how are they made to feel comfortable, important, and accepted by the facilities, staff, stakeholders, and fellow participants?

  • How are you facilitating experiences and helping participants navigate your systems and cultures to ease stress or challenges involved with participating?


INCLUDED - The way people are motivated and inspired to be lifelong participants and/or co-creators of their experience that leads them to participate as their authentic selves.

  • Is everyone able to use the same facilities, take part in the same activities, and enjoy the same experiences that meet their physical, mental, and social well being?

  • How are you removing barriers and negotiating constraints to ensure everyone can participate?

  • Are participants struggling to “fit in” or are they encouraged and supported to participate as their authentic selves at a level they are comfortable with?


The Belonging Framework can be adapted and suited to meet the needs of any organization and the target group they want to increase. Activating the framework helps organizations, practitioners and facility providers assess and develop actions for strategic plans, program development & implementation, staffing models, training, budget & resource allocations, facilities, marketing, initiatives and projects utilizing a lens of belonging leading to stronger recruitment and retention of participants while supporting Equity & Diversity by embedding Belonging within your organizational culture as an intentional outcome.

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