Laws and judgments supporting gay marriage and LGBT issues will have significant impact for the nonprofit sector, particularly fundraising.
Speaking during the recent Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Fundraising Conference, Michael Slaymaker of Easter Seals Florida said that the transfer of wealth from gay individuals and couples to philanthropy could be substantial.
In the United States, couples asking for an insurance “marriage discount” will garner $400 in savings immediately, filing a joint tax return is now possible for same-sex couples and many gay couples do not have children.
What does that mean for nonprofits? If an organization does not have a strategy for attracting and engaging this section of the community, it is missing out on a significant transfer of wealth. And, anyone who thinks lesbians and gay men support only LGBT or HIV/AIDS causes had better think again. They support all types of causes.
Creating an LGBT-friendly organization should be in the strategic plan of any nonprofit. Four items are worth special focus:
* A nondiscrimination policy/marketing materials (LGBT-friendly office policy)
* Clients (materials and forms clients receive)
* Staff (LGBT or LGBT-friendly staff, partner benefits)
* Training (level, depth).