Increased support for the diaspora by non-profit organizations

An increasing number of nonprofit organizations are looking for ways to reach expatriates who support causes in their ethnic group in their adopted country or in their country of origin as part of expanding their donor base.

Any discussion of national identity and origin often causes heated debates. In the case of “diaspora,” an ongoing debate rages over the definition and use of the word while describing people who live outside their country of origin. In this article, “diaspora” means immigrants, expats, first- and second-generation people, other non-resident groups and those with strong ties to a particular ethnic community.

Although research on their philanthropy is plentiful, including trends and patterns, coordinated study of the correct techniques that aid in successful fundraising from communities is very limited. In this article, one of the techniques – Giving Circles – that has increased its charitable impact among donor profiles and diaspora communities is discussed.

Organizations that work internationally and seek to raise donations for expatriates often engage with program activities and their impact in the donor’s home country or community as part of networking. There are huge needs within immigrant communities, most of which are undeserved and ignored by traditional fundraising channels. However, first and second generation immigrants are increasingly reaching out as part of their response to support organizations that work for unworthy members of their communities.

A circle is made up of groups of people who pool funds and decide together how and where money should be donated. Usually, they are targeted at the department’s city of origin.

The difference between districts and Hometown Associations is that projects in the donor community are supported by the districts while it is the donor community and/or the hometown or hometown community where projects are supported by the township associations.

The past ten years have seen an increase in the popularity of circuit activities across the United States. According to sources, there are an estimated 800 circuits in the United States that have become popular among Asian communities as well. Despite the differences in circuit configuration, these circuits share some characteristics:

Educate members about issues affecting their local ethnic communities and programs that address needs.

Providing opportunities to communicate and socialize with others.

Accumulating funds, time and/or contributions by members and determining how and where funds are allocated. While the money collected is given away by some groups throughout the year, others form endowments.

Circle members may choose a donor-advised fund with a community trust or administered by a foundation.

Asian American Circles are a mixture of different ages and backgrounds, but the members are mostly well-educated, urban, professional, and young. They are often first or second generation immigrants.

Group sizes can range from a few members to over 100.

There are many non-profit organizations that approach the circuits to ask for support. Others work with members in their service area and organize their own circles.

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