Market Focus?Conservative Political Donors (1,620 words)
What it comes down to is that many of the pre-conceived notions of what it means to be a Republican are true. The ones that are going to give money for the causes they believe in are in general wealthy, older, family oriented and, ironically, likely to own a gun. Gender, how ever, is where things are changing.
Another study supported by the Joyce Foundation called "Women Big Donors Mobilized in Congressional Elections," charts the movement of women into the political finance arena.
From comprising 17 percent of the total donors in 1978 to 23 percent in 1996, women have come into their own as political donors.
Thirty-five percent of women donors in the study aligned themselves with a conservative ideology compared to 58 percent of men. And nearly 60 percent of all women donors get their political information from issue groups—most popular is EMILY's List, a network of donors working to elect pro-choice, Democratic women.
While conservative female donors would seem like something of an anomaly, they do exist, and in fair numbers.
"The gender breakdown usually runs about 60-to-40, men to women," Lyles. "It's just that the higher gifts come from men usually. Women don't tend to give as much unless you're targeting a specific issue ... a more liberal issue."
Leary attributes the rise of female political donors to, "increased exposure of the conservative message (FOX News Channel, radio talk shows, etc.)," but does not agree that they should be targeted differently.
"Gender is irrelevant. A true conservative cares about the issues not the sex of a person. This premise should be used by marketers," Leary suggests.
Though the skew does appear to be to the left, women donors should not be ignored.
Knowing the Game
Yet, as with all lists, mailers have to be certain they are targeting specifically and correctly. One wouldn't want to target a conservative female donor list with a pro-life message, if the women on the list only held conservative views toward economic practices.