Discussions regarding challenges of fundraising within the African American community have always boiled down to the lack of an ask. African Americans support causes and are a prime targets for fundraisers. In her book “Diversity and Philanthropy” Lilya Wagner offers advice for fundraisers who might work with African American causes and donors. That includes:
- African Americans value personal contact over mass-produced solicitations and therefore direct mail is likely to be unsuccessful.
- African Americans are less likely to have wills than Caucasians;
- African Americans see giving motivations as “obligations;”
- African Americans are interested in supporting their heritage and community;
- Appeals to African Americans should be customized around social issues. Paint a picture of outcomes; and,
- It is wise to engage African American giving circles, a form of giving that has increasingly been adopted.