DONOR FOCUS Hispanic AmericansAn often overlooked market segme
An often overlooked market segme
By PAUL BARBARGALLO
At 38.8 million, the U.S. Hispanic population continues to be the fastest growing ethnic market and accounts for roughly half of the nation's population increase of 6.9 million between April 2000 and July 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
More than one in eight people in the United States are of Hispanic descent and, by 2010, Hispanic Americans will become the second largest ethnic group — following behind non-Hispanic whites. Strangely enough, despite an estimated spending power of $580 billion, Hispanics represent an under-served and often neglected market.
"Hispanics are going to [have a response rate] 30 to 40 percent higher to any direct mail solicitation only because there's not a lot of competition in the mailstream," affirms Ray Lugo, president and founder of New York City-based Positiva, a dual-purpose Hispanic-marketing consultancy that offers corporate advice and produces educational videos to assist Hispanic immigrants. "Given the small volume of solicitations that Hispanics receive in the mail, an organization would benefit from tailoring a package to this community."
Nonprofit organizations need to understand that Hispanics are very generous, Lugo says, and have a soft spot for many causes, namely those pertaining to health, family, child welfare, urban development, community outreach, religion and international relief (especially for Spanish-speaking countries).
On the other hand, environmental/preservation and animal-activist organizations, for example, might not find as much success, because their causes tend not to resonate well within the Hispanic-American framework. Despite a propensity to give, Hispanics might not be culturally attuned to the missions of these types of organizations.
Organizations such as Covenant House, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Oblate Missions are just a few of the nonprofits that have expressly targeted the Spanish-speaking marketplace. For those needing to catch up, Lugo advises a clear and direct approach.