Every nonprofit needs donors of different ages, but if you want to focus on one that has money to give and an interest in giving, the Baby Boomers (born 1945-1963) are the greatest generation. Boomers have the most discretionary income (70 percent of the disposable income in the U.S.) and, for the next 12-15 years, the most dominance in charitable giving. Millennials might outnumber Boomers, but they don’t outdo them when it comes to supporting nonprofits.
As you design and develop fundraising strategies with Baby Boomers in mind, here are a few pointers.
There’s no right way to reach them
Boomers are a mix when it comes to old school and tech. Seventy percent use social media, mostly Facebook, every day, yet Boomers also look forward to the mail. They pay some bills online, others by check. They do the same with their donations, mailing in about 54 percent of their gifts. So your approach to this generation must be multichannel–you have to target them online and by mail.
Show them the money
Boomers want to know that their money is helping people; studies show they are more assertive than their parents when it comes to finding out how their donations are used. One of the best ways to ensure their continued support is to tell them exactly what your organization is doing with the money they donate. General statements or statistics won’t cut it with Boomers. Tell the story of specific people your organization has helped. Instead of reporting that your food bank fed 2,000 people last month, focus on a family and how the food you provided helped them through hard times. Include photos and video; visuals appeal to Boomers.
Keep it simple
Boomers like clarity. Choose a typeface that is large enough and easy to read for everything from brochures and enewsletters to fundraising letters. Make sure your website navigation is logical and easy to use. Make it simple and easy for Boomers to support you.
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