Grooming the Next Generation of Donors: An Interview With Miami Jewish Health Systems' Blaise Mercadante
Many nonprofits face the hard reality that their strongest donors are aging. At the same time, they have a very small base of new, younger donors to sustain the organizational services in the future.
That's exactly the situation that Miami health care nonprofit Miami Jewish Health Systems found itself in. So in order to grow its donor base and engage a younger generation, MJHS has reorganized its business model toward growth-oriented services to reach the next generation of donors. For instance, MJHS is holding a homecoming-themed gala reminiscent of high-school musicals for its platinum anniversary celebration, including impromptu performances and interactive events.
FundRaising Success: Traditionally, who are your typical donors? What are their demographics (age, income, education, etc.)?
Blaise Mercadante: This year, we have been celebrating the 70th anniversary of our founding. In the past, our donor base was comprised primarily of the emerging Jewish community of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in Miami. They saw the "Jewish Home," as they called it, as a statement about the Jewish community, a sign of pride and commitment of care for their parents.
Our donor base has changed dramatically in the past few years, evolving from an older, Jewish donor base to a more diverse, younger donor base — tracking the cultural changes that have happened in our service community, South Florida. Our Latin Support Group is actually our largest support group. Typically, our donors become interested in Miami Jewish Health Systems in their late 40s and early 50s, when they become aware of the service that we offer for their parents and themselves. However, we have donors as young as mid-20s and as old as 105. Age, income and culture no longer define our donor base.