Diaspora – Jargon or Opportunity?

For several years now fundraisers have been talking about ‘diaspora’, the broad term used to describe people giving to programmes back in their country of origin or culture. Many people believe this to be an Indian word or concept, but they are just one of the many cultures who actively practice this discipline and need.

diaspora Ireland FundsThe word is actually Greek and the first practice of ‘diaspora’ was around the needs of Jewish communities as they spread out across the globe. Over recent years ‘diaspora’ fundraising has increasingly come into the spotlight and I believe will become a more formally established part of people’s individual giving portfolios. Charities will think beyond segmentation to ‘tribes’ and how to target communities where they can link them to project countries or Brits abroad where they can link them back to projects here.

As ‘diaspora’ fundraising has become more main stream it has become known as ‘heritage’ fundraising in the US and the emerging work from our colleagues in higher education is ‘philanthropatriotism’! In my view this is going too far, but if it creates interest and energy… Heritage fundraising works for me and it could work for you if you consider the recent research from the Ireland Funds that identified 70 million people worldwide claiming Irish decent, a single example of the 248 nationalities in the world today with the endless subset ‘tribes’ that people would see themselves as part of.

The internet and the endless digital tools we now have around us are all about connecting and ‘heritage ‘fundraising is about helping people to connect in a full and meaningful way. Want to know more? Think more? Check out the new report from the Ireland Funds.

Categories: Charities, Charity Trends, Individual Giving

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