| Donor Location by Generation (Part 1 of 2) |
By Heather Fignar
As we dive into year 4 of the recession (recovery?), nonprofits are searching for the donors who will support their missions and sustain them through another year of uncertainty. Here at Amergent we’ve talked about how to retain more of your current donors through:
In this 2-part series, we’ll discuss the use of social networks and online media as a way to reach your core demographic. “But wait. My donors are older and not online.” Actually, they are. I recently sat in a meeting with Amergent’s President Jack Doyle and felt incredibly un-hip as I took notes with a pen and paper, but he took notes and researched the topic on his Apple iPad. He is a Boomer and I am a Gen X-er.
In December 2010, Pew Internet has released some significant data that says every generation is adopting social media and electronic communication at a dizzying pace.
Although younger people still dominate, those 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of social network users. About 16% of internet users over the age of 65 use sites like Facebook and Twitter. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s a 400% increase in just a two-year period. That means that some portion of your database is on Facebook. And, they are likely to become a fan if asked because, as a generation, they are deeply loyal to their charities of choice.
Among those 65 and older, use of social networking sites grew 100% – from 13% to 26% between April 2009 and May 2010. Not only are they using Facebook, but they are checking email, using Google search.
So, what does this mean? Keep sending mail. Call these folks. But also, make sure that your web site is optimized for the words they use to describe your mission. Create videos that they can watch and email to their friends. Don’t abandon your “email this page” in favor of “share this” – use both. And don’t forget that a sub-set may think it’s really cool to follow you on Twitter.
In Part 2 of 2, we’ll talk about Boomers, Gen X-ers, and the Millennials and how you can reach more of them. Stay tuned.