While interviewing a foundation leader recently, I learned about a thought-provoking report by the Vaid Group: The Apparitional Donor: Understanding and Engaging High Net Worth Donors of Color.
It’s eye-opening to read about how philanthropy continues to overlook donors from diverse communities, paying little attention to these donors’ interests and preferred ways of making change with their dollars:
The limited available research on HNW [high net worth] donors of color and the lack of comprehensive data on giving by affluent, HNW, and UHNW people of color leaves many questions unanswered and many details about donor priorities, concerns, and motivations unknown . . . HNW donors of color are real and complex individuals with unique personal stories who bring a generous personal engagement with their families, communities, and cultures. The philanthropic practices of communities of color are distinctly different from one another and are, in highly significant ways, unlike the philanthropy of white HNW donors.
Our sector needs to do a better job of listening to donors of color, that much is clear. And, we need to build a more diverse community within the fundraising profession itself.
In the meantime, we should all do some soul searching about how we as individuals, organizations, and companies that support nonprofits can do better. Here’s some more food for thought:
- Fundraising Is Stalled by Its Focus on What Works for White Men
- Why Individual Donations Strategies Often Do Not Work for Communities of Color
- Wealthy Donors of Color Largely Ignored by Philanthropy, Study Says
- Donors of Color Are Not ‘New’ or ‘Emerging.’ We’ve Been Giving All Along.
- Report Addresses Racial Diversity on Boards, But Misses Need for Cultural Change