ROCKVILLE, MD, September 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Deborah Peeples
has devoted her time and talent to helping non-profits build financial and organizational capacity. As a seasoned fundraising professional, she understands the nuances and best practices of organizing and leading development programs to increase donations and funding. A recent article
in The Chronicle of Philanthropy explores how changing demographics are transforming the way that charities target donors. Deborah Peeples weighs in on this development.
As charities work to raise money, they must become more sophisticated in understanding the different motivations and characteristics of their supporters and key constituents. Today, the most successful not-for-profits are taking a page from for-profit companies and paying closer attention by monitoring and analyzing their efforts and adapting to the changing economy and society. As American demographics shift, so too, must organizations reposition themselves and adjust where and how they target their marketing messages. According to the U.S. Census Bureau by 2045, Caucasians will no longer make up the majority of the population as minority groups continue to increase. It is widely recognized that today women continue to take on more prominent roles in families. According to the Pew Research Center, "Forty percent of women with children under 18 are the primary breadwinners in their households." More women are single than ever before and are working in high-income fields such as law and medicine. The growing prominence of women in philanthropy is a trend for which fundraising professionals must continue to understand and develop new appropriate strategies.
Young adults are also changing the face of donating. This new generation of supporters seeks greater personal engagement and tangible organizational results. They are demanding a different level of accountability and response than non-profit organizations have been accustomed to providing to the "silent generation" of traditional donors. Baby boomers continue to comprise the most significant population of donors. Those born between 1946 and 1964 represent 34 percent of all donors and are responsible for 43 percent of all individual giving, according to a study by Edge Research, Sea Change Strategies, and Target Analytics. Charitable organizations need to take note of which demographic of supporters comprise their key base of donations and analyze how they are reaching, cultivating, and stewarding their current donors and if their current development and outreach efforts are well-targeted to grow new donors.
Americans are beginning to use the power of their philanthropy in a much more intentional way to effect change. For example, gays and lesbians have stepped up their support of political organizations that support LGBT rights. They are supporting those who support them. People who are religious used to have stronger ties to donating to organizations that were associated with their faith. Now, a Jumpstart study found that, after surveying more than 3,000 Jewish donors, "33 percent said they would be more inclined to support a Jewish charity if it also served people who aren't Jewish." They are becoming more flexible with the efforts they support.
Una Osili, head of research at Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy explains that one of the keys to successful fundraising is identifying and building relationships with different groups of donors. Targeting diverse populations can lead to higher levels of fundraising. But this requires a commitment on the part of the non-profit to delve more deeply into their donor's interests and work hard to have a dialogue that build trusts and strong relations with each one. Having a diverse staff can also help to support efforts.
"Organizations need to assess their many constituents to which they are appealing and thoughtfully seek approaches to best connect with them," says Deborah Peeples. "This may mean employing several different strategies such as conducting surveys, focus groups, and investing in data mining and analytics of your database. In the end, the goal is to help people feel a connection to your organization and to make them feel that you know and understand them personally. It takes time to build these relationships, but they are necessary to ensuring that your organization will stay relevant and grow and prosper." Deborah Peeples has helped dozens of nonprofits turn around their fundraising programs and achieve greater results.
is a certified fundraising executive with more than 25 years of experience. She has assumed a variety of roles throughout her career, including Vice President of Philanthropy for the Humane Society of the United States, Executive Director for IONA Senior Services, President of the Capital Hospice Foundation, and Senior Partner of the McConnell/Peeples Consulting Group. She also frequently shares her knowledge and experience at speaking events, where she addresses other professionals in the field.