Individuals with the capacity and desire to make major gifts are as diverse as our population is. According to Statista, about 14 percent of millionaires are people of color, and that percentage is likely to grow as the nation’s demographics continue to change. Many nonprofits are missing out on the chance to attract more donors and simultaneously, missing out on major gift opportunities. If your nonprofit is looking to expand or diversify its current donor base, there are steps you can take.
- Avoid assumptions: Break down any preconceived ideas of who your donors could be, think bigger. Many individuals with a capacity to give have careers outside of health, insurance, and/or the legal field. Identifying individuals with a more unique career will require research
- Use your resources: We recommend using a donor research and wealth screening tool like iWave, that helps you identify and qualify major gift prospects. Future donors are qualified and rated not only by the prospect’s wealth, but equally if not more importantly by their propensity to give and their affinity to your organization’s mission. Using a donor research tool will help you diversify your prospects by identifying viable individuals that you can begin fostering a relationship with.
- Invest before you request: Develop authentic relationships with prospective donors. Building and diversifying your donor base requires time, effort, and continuous communication. Go to where your prospects are and create community-centered partnerships. Maintain a long-term perspective as you begin to develop relationships and become an ally. Most importantly, keep a record in your prospect donor database of each prospect meeting and recommend the next step in the relationship building cycle.
- Refine your message: Determine if your existing fundraising messages and materials will be well accepted by the prospect group. If your messages are based on cultural context, you may need to establish new language to ensure that your message resonates and invites action.
- Anticipate change: Lastly, understand that your prospective donors will continuously shift in demographics and cultural views. Recognize that your process and approach could change. Continue to build a system that supports multicultural success.
By Laurel DeLuca, Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications Coordinator