What’s the Buzz About Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month began Sept. 15, and I bet you have seen ads, social media posts, news stories and more talking about it. For those of you who have not yet considered doing outreach or fundraising campaigns geared toward the U.S. Hispanic market, here is some information that might encourage you.
Country Within a Country
This fact still surprises me each time I think of it. At an estimated 54 million—second only to Mexico (120 million) and followed by Colombia (48 million)—the U.S. Hispanic population is the size of an entire country. For another point of comparison, the total population of Canada is roughly 35 million. Amazing, right? Although many U.S. Hispanics speak English, 73 percent of Hispanics still speak Spanish at home. Cities like Miami and San Antonio operate on a nearly completely bilingual basis, while other cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, have large, vibrant Spanish-speaking communities. According to current projections, the U.S. Hispanic market will reach 133 million by 2050 and will continue to be the fastest growing population in the country. Needless to say, the numbers speak for themselves as to why you should consider them as a target demographic.
The current spending power of the Hispanic market is an estimated $1.5 trillion—12 percent of U.S. buying power. At this level, U.S. Hispanic purchasing power is larger than all but 12 economies in the world. In addition to their capacity for spending, U.S. Hispanics also are philanthropic. But there are a few considerations to keep in mind when targeting them during your fundraising campaign. The way U.S. Hispanics view social giving is different than the general market, and their perspective is actually quite interesting—U.S. Hispanics consider philanthropy as their responsibility. Taking responsibility for their community and its social issues is considered a necessary duty, paralleling the fact that most charitable donations are related to church and family. Outreach messages appealing to the impact that your cause has in local communities will resonate very well with U.S. Hispanics. Research also shows that brand loyalty among U.S. Hispanics is something that often is transferred from parents to children, and the same applies for nonprofits.
Ways to Approach the Hispanic Community
- It is fundamental to understand the U.S. Hispanic culture and what is important to them. U.S. Hispanics are more likely to donate to organizations with which they can relate and feel they can trust. Acculturation is the key to building trusting relationships.
- Culturally relevant content in Spanish is critical in order for a fundraising campaign to go a long way because it resonates the most with bilingual Hispanics and “Hispennials.” When an organization uses Spanish correctly, it conveys a message of respect for the heritage of its potential donors.
- Keep the donor experience in mind. To make sure all U.S. Hispanic donors have a pleasant experience, make arrangements to have Spanish-speaking volunteers or call-center agents available to answer questions and process donations. Those interacting with donors should ensure they know the organizations mission and details about the outreach campaign, especially the impact that donated funds will have.
Culturally-attuned fundraising efforts, especially during specific times of celebration, such as Hispanic Heritage Month, have the potential to generate an extremely strong response. The Latino community can, and wants to, make a powerful impact on society. When your nonprofit’s campaign aligns with the U.S. Hispanic culture, then donors from this demographic will be more than happy to give, and will continue to give throughout succeeding generations.
Randall Anderson is the Chief Operations Officer of Listen Up Español, a leading bilingual call center. In his position, Randall uses his extensive experience in DRTV fundraising and call center operations to help nonprofit organizations reach out to the U.S. Hispanic market. In his spare time he enjoys golf, classical chorus, basketball, boating and travel.