Much of the current social debate is centred on the notion of diversity.
We've moved on from the 'political correctness' of the 1990s to the reality of living in a multicultural Britain. I frequently hear about projects targeting ethnic minority groups. Yet few of them target minority ethnic groups for fundraising.
There are some 4.6 million people classified as belonging to an ethnic minority, making up 8 per cent of the UK population. This number is expected to double in the next 10-15 years. They have a combined disposable income of £32bn.
The London Development Agency research on multicultural giving in Britain highlighted the missed opportunities by charities that fail to develop relationships with ethnic minority communities. My own organisation, Help the Aged, was one of the few cited as gaining support from ethnic minority donors through its appeal to British Asians.
You will find a culture of giving in every community, and it needn't be limited to ethnic minority communities. For example, there are approximately 5 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people with an estimated disposable income of £35bn.
So, why aren't UK charities developing fundraising strategies that reflect diversity when there is a solid business case for doing it? A working group from across the charitable sector, including representatives from the British Red Cross, Resource Alliance, Gingerbread, and Stonewall, has been formed with a view to creating a new special interest group within the Institute on Diversity in Fundraising. We hope to hold our first meeting in February. We would like wider representation, so if you are interested in joining the group, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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