'Demographics Are Destiny'
It's no secret that we're undergoing a huge demographic shift in the United States. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2050 we will be a "majority- minority" nation. In fact, in four states — California, New Mexico, Texas and Hawaii — people of color already comprise the majority of the population. And, the percentage of non-Hispanic white residents has fallen below 60 percent in Maryland, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, New York and Mississippi.
If, as many experts have said, "demographics are destiny," then the changing landscape of the U.S. has profound implications for fundraisers and marketers. For example …
● We might need new human-resources policies and processes in place to recruit and retain major-gift officers from diverse backgrounds.
● We might need to start translating our collaterals into Spanish.
● We might need to use different technologies, like mobile and text messaging, to reach more Latinos and African-Americans.
● We might need to determine the race and ethnicity of the donors already on our files.
But before we get too tactical, let's look at the strategic imperative before us.
Here are my five reasons why you should start thinking about diversifying your fundraising, by race and ethnicity — now!
1. Get a leg up on the competition
Think about it. If other charities in your geographic or issue area are not actively reaching out to diverse communities, you will gain a competitive advantage by taking the lead. Just as for-profit marketers scrambled to connect with the "women's market" 10 years ago, savvy charities that reach out to diverse donors now will reap the rewards.
2. Enhance and differentiate your nonprofit
It might sound manipulative, but connecting with diverse audiences could actually enhance your image with current and prospective clients, donors and employees. This can help you stand out from the other charitable organizations in your space. Many people want to be part of multicultural organizations and coalitions that are intentionally stretching their boundaries. It signals a willingness to be inclusive and open.