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Mar 18, 2015

The Times They Are A Changing

change aheadThe Public Religion Research Institute recently released a study that found for the first time in the US, “white Christians” were a minority in 19 States.

In the study’s own words:

“Hawaii and California stand out for having the smallest white Christian populations of any state (20 percent and 25 percent, respectively). White Christians also make up a relatively modest proportion of the residents in other western states, including Oregon (43 percent), Washington (42 percent), Nevada (36 percent), and Arizona (38 percent). Conversely, no state has a greater proportion of white Christians living within its borders than North Dakota (72 percent) and South Dakota (77 percent).”

One of the things we regularly do for clients is to append demographic characteristics to their donor files. And time after time, their files are disproportionally older white Christians.

As fundraisers we have had a hard time creating offers that engage a culturally diversified audience. And really, since we have had plenty of success with the traditional audience, we haven’t needed to.

In the short-term, I have good news. People don’t become donors until they are in their 50s. And we have a big cohort of the traditional audience moving into their prime giving years.

The bad news is that the cohort immediately behind them is going to be much more diversified. On top of that their media usage habits are vastly different. So not only will our offers have to adapt, but we will have to communicate in different ways.

All this to say, time is short. If you aren’t maximizing the current fundraising methods that are still working, woe to you.


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