Maintaining Older Donors While Wooing the Young – The Grand Experiment?
|July 19, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Management, Philanthropy, Technology|
Technological advances in communication have presented charities and not-for-profit organizations with both the golden opportunity and the daunting challenge of myriad methods to woo supporters and request and receive donations. There is not a finite set of rules for how to be successful at this, rather, it is a combination of having a well-crafted message, knowing your donor community, having the capacity to utilize more than one method at one time, and then trying, testing and tweaking your strategy. In short, it is a cycle of experimentation as you theorize and test what will work best for your nonprofit.
Much has been made of the divide between generations in the workplace, in politics and even in philanthropy (although some are not buying into it all). As far as internal motivation, there may be little difference it what inspires a 25-year-old to send your organization money versus his or her parent. However, recent data indicate that how they learned about your cause and the method of the gift is where the variations are more apparent (and telling).
The study The Next Generation of American Giving: A Study on the Contrasting Charitable Habits of Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Matures by Vinay Bhagat, Pan Loeb and Mark Rovner, examines how four generations learn of, engage with and give to their charities of choice. Highlights from the study:
- Generations X and Y tend to be more random in their giving patterns while older generations follow a pre-determined, budgeted giving plan.
- Generations X and Y are more likely to engage with a charity through their website than Boomers or Matures.
- Responsiveness to direct mail declines steadily by generation (the younger the generation, the lower the response rate).
- Peer to peer fundraising is increasingly accepted across all generations, especially with the rise of social media.
The complete report is available for download at the Convio or the Edge Research websites and includes statistical breakdowns of the responses and action steps to help integrate this information into your giving/marketing/communications plans.
How do you plan to keep your older donors while, at the same time, building a younger donor base? Have you begun this grand experiment?