Doing a cultural analysis of constituents

December 2, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Toronto: Home of a venerable hockey team, a frustrating baseball team and a loose-cannon former mayor. But, it turns out that Toronto is home to more than the Maple Leafs (hockey), the Blue Jays (baseball) and Rob Ford (crack-using former mayor).

During the 2104 Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference, Doug Norris of Environics Analytics and Grant Stirling of SickKids Foundation said that SickKids improved its financial performance steadily from 2002 to 2014 by focusing on cultural communities. This meant learning that 75 percent of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is first or second generation.

By learning more about that varied background, fundraisers were able to discern that:

  • The GTA is among the most culturally diverse regions in the world;
  • There is a mix of older European groups and newer non-European groups;
  • Virtually all population growth in the GTA is accounted for by growth in the visible minority population;
  • The visible minority population is young and well educated;
  • Time in Canada and language use are important indicators of the degree of acculturation;
  • There is an emerging young second generation of many groups;
  • Many groups struggle economically as newcomers but could be potential donors in the longer term; and,
  • Strategy needs to account for the current pattern of donations and size and characteristics of various ethnic communities.