Tapping into the impending gay transfer of wealth

There are many benefits to marriage, especially in the eyes of the law. In fact, there are 1,138 federal benefits, rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.

With same-sex marriage now legal in the United States, a fundamental shift in who keeps and holds the marital assets is being created. Yes, marriage is about love, but it is also about money.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples could not file taxes jointly, would pay taxes on inheritance, and not receive a discount on insurance. Now that all changes, according to Michael Slaymaker, vice president of development and planned giving for Easter Seals Florida in Orlando, Fla.

This transfer of wealth will be in the billions of dollars and will be in the hands of LGBT members of your community, most of whom do not have children, according to Slaymaker during his Sunday session titled “The Gay Transfer of Wealth.”

“Fundraisers must make their organizations appealing to LGBT donors and develop a strategy for attracting and engaging these donors,” said Slaymaker. He provided many ideas, four of which are:

1. Network at local LGBT equality organizations. That organization might be the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org), Equality Florida (www.eqfl.org), Equality Pennsylvania (www.equalitypa.org), One Iowa (www.oneiowa.org), One Colorado (www.one-colorado.org or whatever ever state you live in), or Lambda Legal Defense Fund (www.lambdalegal.org). Each of these organizations has events and fundraisers that you can attend and network with LGBT people who donate.

2. Send press or media releases or advertise in the local LGBT media, especially if you have or are starting a program or service that LGBT people would be interested in.

3. Join the local LGBT chamber of commerce and/or community center. You will get listed in their directory and people will see you and know that your nonprofit is gay-friendly.

4. Attend a meeting of Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) (www.pflag.org). Don’t forget that the LGBT community has very active allies who can connect you to potential contributors.