In my many years as a fundraising professional and as a member of an ethnic minority myself (Armenian) I have always promoted Multi-Cultural Marketing to charitable organizations. I have seen it work when my team and I implemented various fundraising programs for nonprofits in the United States and Canada. What I finally figured out is that the language for the communications is not that important, what is important is addressing cultural nuances and understanding what is important to each ethnic group.
I don’t have to tell you that Hispanics represent one of the largest and one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. According to the US Census, Hispanic people are the largest minority in the United States. Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population than the United States. As of 2014, there are an estimated 55 million Hispanic people in the United States, comprising over 17% of the population. By 2060, the Census Bureau projects that Hispanic people will comprise over 28% of the total population with 119 million residing in the United States. These are daunting numbers if you are a nonprofit and do not currently have a strategy in place to overcome this challenge.
It has been the general consensus that Latinos do not give which is not necessarily true. Latinos have always been engaged in informal philanthropy which means giving to their church, family and their own community. Research has shown that education, socioeconomic status, and acculturation are major factors influencing Latino giving. For Latinos volunteering and donating are seen as their responsibility.
How can your organization attract this growing population with an incredible buying power and influence? It takes commitment, strategy, planning, and research, but it is well worth it given the facts I already mentioned.
Here are some strategies to consider:
1. Ask and Inform – Latinos are very generous with their time and money. However, you need to ask them to participate and let them know how their community is being helped. Most Latinos don’t join any formal nonprofit organizations because they are not asked.
2. Build Trust – Latinos are most likely to donate to an organization or a cause that they identify with and they can trust.
3. Empower your Hispanic Constituency – You probably already have an existing Hispanic constituency. Identify it, empower it, and use them as your ambassadors.
4. Research – Invest in understanding how to make your brand, marketing and communications inherently cross-cultural.
So, how do you get all of this done and more? By building a carefully planned approach with carefully structured KPI’s to track performance.
Community Outreach – this is where you start building a bridge with the target audience. Develop relationships with the local Spanish language radio and TV stations. Make sure you have someone on staff or a volunteer who speaks fluent Spanish and can speak about your cause. Make sure to participate in local events by becoming a sponsor of a booth, a program, etc. Launch a PR campaign about your programs and how it helps the Hispanic Community.
Media – start a media awareness campaign by using the media that is most utilized by the Hispanic Community. Besides offline media that should be utilized such as magazines, radio and television, online is where Hispanics spend their time. While non-Hispanics own more desktops, Hispanics have a higher rate of ownership of smartphones and tablets as opposed to non-Hispanics, according to a survey of 1,027 respondents for Specific Media and SMG Multicultural’s Millward Brown survey. Mobile advertising is key along with other type of digital and social advertising.
Once these steps have been utilized and subsequently analyzed, you can start thinking about fundraising. It can be done in the mail, online, in media, much like any other integrated multichannel approach. You see, although using Spanish language communication is important, at strategic times, it is not what makes this type of a campaign a success or a failure. It is understanding the culture, the motivations of the ethnic groups that delivers successful campaigns.
We would love to partner with you to build an Ethnic Marketing Campaign. We have a passionate and experienced team ready to discuss strategies and tactics to make this happen – feel free to reach out!