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Philanthropy’s face changing

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By Todd Cohen

As American society grows more diverse, nonprofits must get in sync with the changing face of philanthropy.

Moving beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to fundraising, nonprofits must do a better job connecting with the broad range of Americans who possess a wealth of time, know-how and money, and want to use it to make our society a better place to live and work.

The American donor does not fit into a cookie-cutter profile.

A recent report by New Ventures in Philanthropy, for example, shows that giving in the U.S. flows from many racial, ethnic and tribal cultures.

African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and Native-American donors all give generously, and their giving reflects their unique traditions.

Today’s donors also represent different generations, ranging from those who came of age before and during World War II to Baby Boomers and their children.

And the way donors give and want to be engaged may differ based on their gender, sexual orientation, faith or geography.

Donors have much to offer, but they do not give in the same ways.

To address social needs that are increasingly diverse, nonprofits must develop fundraising strategies that will attract and better serve America’s increasingly diverse donors.


Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.

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