How to Engage the Next Generation of Donors: Free Guide

convioIt’s a must read for all of us, the most in-depth study to date of how donors of different generations learn about our organizations, and give. Don’t miss it.

Here are six key takeaways:

  1. Core donor groups to understand: Matures, Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y.
  2. Matures and boomers give more than younger generations, because they give to a greater number of organizations. They don’t give more for each cause.
  3. Most donors first learn of an org via mainstream media. Gen Y’s mainstream media is the Web.
  4. A friend’s request is the main reason for giving, across generations.
  5. Word of mouth is a must. So tell your org’s story well and motivate and train your supporters to tell it too.
  6. THE critical element for fundraising success is messaging that connects. (Yes!)

I urge you to read this report today. It’s the most valuable 16 pages I’ve read in a long time.

P.S. This report is more evidence that effective messaging is a priority for all organizations, and a key to motivating your audience to give. Learn how to craft the most essential message — your tagline. Download the free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report, filled with must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz on March 24, 2010 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 3 comments
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  • thr55

    Interesting post, Nancy, but the report is missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.
    It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:
    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978
    Generation Y/Millennials: 1979-1993
    Here are some good links about GenJones I found:
    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20090127/column27_st.art.htm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ta_Du5K0jk
    http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

  • Jordan Viator

    Love the takeaways, Nancy! If I could add one to the list it would be that across all generations the research showed true multi-channel tendencies. That means, Gen Y isn’t just on Facebook but they are also reading email and vice versa for Boomers. Communications through one channel is a thing of the past and leveraging online and offline together is crucial.

  • Thanks for sharing this important report! As a member of Gen X working with independent artists who raise money to self-produce original work, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
    The biggest takeaway for me was this: the days of the unsolicited direct appeal form letter are rapidly coming to an end.
    As technology continues to revolutionize how people connect to causes they believe in, we must create multi-channel INTERACTIONS targeted to each generation’s preferences in order to effectively raise funds. This report is a vital resource for those of us grappling with how to do that.

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