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Throw The Party They Want To Come To

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Donors of of color feel disconnected.

They have a hard time seeing themselves in an organization whose leaders and board members are largely white.

1+ million people of color in the United States have more than $1 million in cash on hand. They are not at the party.

Here's why nonprofits miss the mark:

·· Nonprofits with staffs and boards that are mostly white often overlook donors of color, sometimes because employees think of people of color as recipients of aid rather than potential supporters.

· To be successful raising money from people of color, organizations need to diversify their staffs and boards. Donors need to be able to see themselves represented in the group.

· The messages and images nonprofits use in appeals matter. It can be easy to offend potential donors, especially if a nonprofit has cultural blind spots.

· Organizations often need to form new partnerships. Enlisting the help of diverse volunteers as well as connecting with or creating networks like giving circles and affinity groups can be critical. Research shows that high-net-worth donors of color are less connected to one another than their white counterparts.

· Many nonprofits don’t know the racial and ethnic makeup of their current donors. Collecting data from supporters about how they identify can help organizations set meaningful goals, measure progress, and communicate why inclusive giving is a priority.

Attracting donors of color requires a long-term committment to changing organizational culture and building trust with groups that have been overlooked in the past.

Here's the plain truth:

If you want to throw the party that potential donors of color want to come to, you need people planning the party who have the same lived experiences as the donors. It's time to change your party planners and give them the freedom to cultivate potential black and brown donors within the context of their own cultures and recognize individual factors for giving; including whose asking and obligations to care for family and community.

This blog is extracted from "How to Connect with Donors of Color" by Emily Haynes and Eden Stiffman.

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