Nonprofit leaders and fundraisers say greater diversity needed

Written on Sep 26, 2017

Charity leaders and fundraisers are calling on nonprofits to build more diverse staffs and do more to engage donors from a wide variety of backgrounds.

To be more inclusive, experts from urge organizations to have an open dialogue about diversity and race. Specifically, nonprofits can improve their outreach and fundraising with emerging donors in the following ways:

Diversify leadership. If a nonprofit has diverse leaders, the group will take inclusion more seriously, some speakers said. A board that is homogeneous lacks much-needed perspective.

Know your donors. Speakers also discussed how best to speak to diverse donors. Some suggested that nonprofits start logging information about their supporters’ backgrounds to better communicate with them. That might include information about their race, ethnicity, religion or preferred gender pronoun.

Consider millennials’ expectations. Fundraisers need to pay special attention to generational differences — especially in a changing fundraising landscape, spurred, in part, by evolving technology. To communicate with and raise money from young donors, hire millennials who understand how to talk to them — especially online. Donors expect to see evidence of an organization’s success, and young donors also expect to be able to give seamlessly through mobile devices and websites.

Engage diverse donors. Another way nonprofits can attract young and diverse donors is to get them involved. Build relationships with skilled young people, some of whom may join the official board down the line.

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