For the last 4 to 5 years, I have been saying in my fundraising workshops and trainings that by the end of the century we would all look pretty much alike. I read that in a paper on the blending of America and was totally intrigued by it.
The 2000 U.S. Census was the first one to give Americans the option to select more than one race; and 7 million people took advantage of that opportunity. Today multiracial Americans are among the fastest growing demographic groups. And as that statistic is rising, so is the acceptance of multiracialism.
We could quote statistics all day long; it seems that today everyone is studying this trend. But the real change, the one that is going to make the lasting difference, is how we view each other.
Today, we might look at people to see, first, what they are. By the end of this century, we will instead have the benefit of looking at people to see who they are. I’m trying to figure out a way to hang around long enough to be part of that. Cryogenics, maybe?
When I talk about this in my workshops, the emphasis is on nonprofits preparing now to be part of this extraordinary occurrence, and in a larger context, all the change that is going on. Coincidentally, The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently published an article, Raising Money In a Changing World, about how we are facing a demographic transition “that has the potential to transform the philanthropic landscape.”
The author, Nicole Lewis, points out the need for nonprofits to focus on burgeoning minority and multi-racial groups of donors. But she doesn’t stop there:
· Women are becoming more economically powerful in their own right
· LGBTQ donors are becoming more visible
· Secularism “is on the rise,” particularly as the younger generations grow as donors and philanthropists
· And more.
If your nonprofit organization isn’t considering how to reach out to a broader – and more diverse – audience of donors, you need to begin now. We as a sector are behind in adapting to these trends. As Emmett Carson, Silicon Valley Community Foundation president, stated in the Chronicle article: “This is adapt, change or die” for nonprofits going forward.