Thundering Silence From Caucasians
On Monday, Roger posted regarding fundraisers’ neglect of the non-white market in the US.
After commenting specifically on the Hispanic market, he observed:
“It should come as no shock that in today’s direct response fundraising “Caucasians” are currently and overwhelmingly the target audience. List brokers and telemarketers — urged on by their clients of course — apply ‘zip selects’ and ‘demographic selects’ to ‘optimize’ returns based on affluent areas … indirectly targeting the white population.
I’m not faulting the brokers and telemarketers. The short-term mindset of most clients demands and tolerates nothing less.
What I am questioning is the long-term effect of this direct response apartheid — a process that too often simply ignores major non-Caucasian ethnic groups (Hispanics and Pan-Asians for example).
Why are these groups ignored?”
That question inspired a thundering response — two comments.
My conclusion? Most of today’s US — dare I say, white — fundraisers: a) are clueless as to whether their organizations and missions have any relevance whatsoever to — let’s start with — Hispanics; b) would be equally clueless as to how to communicate with them anyway; and c) are probably equally clueless as to whether it even matters.
So let me ask the question differently, and see if I get any better response.
Suppose you’re told definitively that your current market will be half its size within 20 years. How do you plan to counter that … to fill that gap? A Facebook page? More tweets?
Yet where is the innovation energy in the nonprofit sector, such as it is, directed today?
P.S. In case you are interested in the evolving market, here is Pew Research’s latest, excellent portrait of the US Hispanic population.
P.P.S. If anyone wishes to make a carefully reasoned argument that the US market is one big melting pot of consumers, each fueled by the same motivations, responsive to the same values and symbols, and using the same communication channels — in other words, don’t hyperventilate Tom, one size fits all — I’m happy to give that case a listen.