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Practicing Inclusive Fundraising

Major gifts officers should consider their outreach and donor pools with diversity in mind, according to one fundraising expert and CASE faculty member.

"The college-going population is becoming increasingly more diverse but there are difficulties and challenges," said Jeff Jackanicz, vice president of institutional advancement of Mills College and faculty member at CASE's Major Gifts Strategies, Winter Session.

In his session, "Practicing Inclusive Fundraising," Jackanicz discussed how development shops should approach fundraising opportunities within diverse communities. When reaching out to alumni and potential donors, fundraisers and institutions must be aware of donors whose philanthropy may be consciously informed by race, gender equality, orientation, able-bodied status and a range of other identities.

"Affinity comes across in all kinds of different ways... what would it look like if we were intentional about who we reached out to?" said Jackanicz.

Relying on zip code data and peer reviews when fleshing out lists of prospective donors can leave out members of diverse groups when fundraising, Jackanicz said.

Fundraisers can increase their effectiveness by understanding their institution's identity and history as it pertains to alumni identity. Don't assume that all alumni had a default experience at your institution, he said.

Also, Jackanicz stressed that there is an intersection of identity between the fundraiser and donors. Be mindful of questions that you or your prospective donors may ask during a meeting and understand that their experience at your institution may vary greatly from the modern student, he said.

"Be aware of how you interact and how they perceive you," said Jackanicz. "Be aware of any implicit bias you might have and how this might impact your conversation."

This article is from the March 2017 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.