publication date: Aug 3, 2011
Build the relationship and the money
will follow. Those words of wisdom on fundraising in diverse communities sum up
' conclusions after
months of analysis in Canada's multicultural communities. The summer issue of KCI
's Philanthropic Trends Quarterly
the research behind her statement.
"The good news is that we've discovered
we know more than we think," she explains. "Essentially, fundraising in ethnic
communities is based on linkage and interest. How relevant is your organization
to that community? And can you find linkages to it? These questions show that
the guiding fundraising principles are identical to fundraising from any group
of prospective donors."
minorities growing in numbers, wealth
Spears cites key statistics from Diane Francis
' book Who Owns Canada
. In 1986 only 5 of Canada's 32 richest people (one-sixth) were
immigrants. By 2007, though, the list of 75 billionaires included 28 from other
countries - or more than one-third. And Statistics
reported that 16.2% of our population belonged to visible minorities
in 2006, but says that number will increase to 30% by 2031.
Those populations aren't evenly spread
out through the country. While cities like Brampton, Scarborough and Surrey
have about 60% of their population in visible minority categories, you'll have
to look hard for visible minorities in St. John's (under 5%) or Montreal (less
than 20%) The first lesson is clear - know your community.
do we start?
Begin by making sure that your
organization reflects and serves the minority community in which you're
interested. That means relevant exhibits for museums and art galleries,
appropriate food in institutional cafeterias and restaurants, and above all, a
sensitivity to the cultural requirements and preferences among the people you
A one-time program or event "targeting"
a particular community won't work, Maytree
president Ratna Omvidar
told KCI interviewers. You have to recognize diverse communities as your
stakeholders and make sure you demonstrate that inclusion.
For organizations that have identified
communities of interest, KCI has these recommendations:
Download the complete report
- Provide front line services that are sensitive
to the community's needs.
- Have senior leaders present and visible at
- Seek out community members for your volunteer
boards and committees.
- Recruit staff members from communities you serve.
- Be genuinely curious about the community.
- Follow the tried and true major gift strategies,
with advice from staff and volunteers who belong to the community, and be even
more careful about who makes the ask.