Engaging ‘lone rangers’

Whether they deliver charitable services or work for social change, nonprofits face the never-ending job of raising money.

Yet the traditional fundraising model, created by white men when donors generally were white men, has become obsolete in the face of sweeping changes in who controls wealth and how they give.

That was the message consultant Karla Williams delivered to over 135 people at PJ’s Feb. 13 Lunch ‘n’ Learn in Raleigh.

Women and Baby Boomers soon will dominate giving for the foreseeable future, Williams says, and nonprofits need to understand those prospective donors, and how they deal with their wealth, know-how, time and giving.

And while women and Boomers are alike in many ways, she says, each group differs, and can be subdivided, based on age, with older women and Boomers approaching their wealth and philanthropy differently than do women and Boomers who are younger.

Williams characterized Boomers in particular as “lone rangers” who will not fit neatly into traditional donor categories and fundraising strategies.

So to tap the donors they will need to help fix what is wrong in our communities, at home and abroad, nonprofits must move quickly to understand and engage the donors who are redefining philanthropy.

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