Everybody wants to reach “the next generation,” and I can understand that. So when non-profits come to us for help, they want to focus on the 20-something crowd, and make sure their website is hip and cool and appeals to younger people. But the brutal truth is – when it comes to fundraising, older folks still carry the load. Pop music belongs to the young, but trust me – giving belongs to the old. That’s not to say we should turn off younger people, but don’t be fooled by the illusion that they will actually support your cause.
People will reply: “Remember the massive amount of money that was raised through text messaging by young people after the Haiti earthquake?”
Yes I do, but where is it now? Young people are impulse givers. They get emotional and shed a few tears, and will text a $10 gift. But soon after, they’re off to the next big thing. It’s the older crowd that continues to give for the long term. The millions that were raised for Haiti or the Live Aid concerts are really peanuts compared to the long-term, sustainable giving that age 50 and older people do on a daily basis.
There’s lots of reasons that I don’t have time for now, but suffice it to say – focus on the older audience if you need to raise serious money.
By the way – that doesn’t mean your TV, radio, or web campaigns have to be traditional or stodgy. Even old people want to be cool. But focus it on their interests, their values, and their goals.
Your chances of success will be much greater. My advice? Raise MONEY from the older audience, but raise your PERCEPTION with the young. After all, they’ll be the next generation of givers.