Younger Donors, You Need Them

As the population ages organisations need to look beyond their mainstay of donors, the Baby Boomer etc; sorry to say, but this is a dying sector of the donor base.

But, unless organisations are (or rather have) started to work toward attracting younger donors there is a serious risk that organisations will suffer to not only grow, but to continue to do the work they are there for.

Sure, younger people are getting on board and supporting organisations, I’ve seen this, you’ve seen it, but in the main I’d suggest it’s the sexy organisations, not the less attractive ones (this is a perception).

To attract younger supporters organisations need to, yes, I’m telling you what others have been for ages; get savvy with the use of social media, get used to using video, stage events to attract a younger audience (typically millennials won’t want to go to a black tie dinner).

And, change your online presence. Does the website you had built a couple of years ago need an update, come to think of it, when did you last look at how your website looks on new devices – it may look good, readable and usable on your desktop computer; but what does it look and feel like on a handheld device?

Can users quickly and easily make an online donation? If not, you’re missing opportunities; sure there are other apps people can use to make donations to your cause, but why send them to another “site” if you’ve already got them “captured” on your site?

Not sure if you’re site, communication style etc is attractive to a younger audience – that’s easy, invite them to look and give you feedback, get a group of younger people together to talk about what you need to do to attract their age group; not just your look and feel, but your overall message and mission.

You’ve nothing to lose – oh, yes you do, you run the risk of your donors dying off and no new donors to fill their shoes.

See also

Young people need to be nurtured and encouraged

Teach children the importance of giving

Text Messaging in Non-Profits

With the wide use of mobile phones in New Zealand, something like 90% of us have them, it would make sense for charities to be tapping more into the use of mobiles to communicate with donors; but this has to be done gently or it could backfire.

Backfire? Yes, I subscribed to an online poll a while back and could select certain charities I wanted to learn more about; within days I was being inundated with calls and messages thanking me for my support (I hadn’t given any, I’d only shown an interest), these calls and text messages turned me off so much that I requested being removed from their databases.

Where mobile can work tremendously is with Text to Donate campaigns, we see these almost weekly in some shape or form, they are a quick and easy way for people to make a donation, they can do it anywhere at any time.

When people do a text-to-donate they can expect to get a call from the organisation thanking them for their support and asking if they would like to become a regular giver. Nothing wrong with this, unless the people doing the calling are from an agency and don’t know all the ins and outs of what the charity is doing.

So, if you are doing text-to-donate campaigns and using an agency, ensure they know the key information, brief them on it and don’t expect them to have the time or possibly the inclination to search for the information themselves. Some key information I would suggest they know is what your campaign dates generally are, when you are holding a special event etc; I’ve seen first hand where an agency didn’t know that they were calling people on the annual appeal day – this, in my mind was a wasted opportunity; how many donors were lost because of this lack of information?

If you do text-to-donate campaigns, remember that this opens up another opportunity for you to stay in contact with your donors/supporters; you can quickly send a broadcast text to your database with an urgent call to action, or you can use texting to send brief updates about your campaign, about a planned event and more; but do respect that recipients have the right (and you the obligation) to be removed from your system. Don’t delay with removal requests, failure to do them in a timely manner could result in damage to your organisation by disgruntled supporters talking about you in a negative way on their social media platforms.

If you want to know others are saying about texting supporters etc, this article from Nonprofit Quarterly is well worth a read.

Technology Trends for Nonprofits in 2014

Came across this and thought it was worth sharing – what are your thoughts on the trends, do you see more use of Mobile, Social Media use?

“In 2014, technology will continue to have an even greater impact on nonprofits,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, Blackbaud’s vice president of product development. “Tremendous opportunities exist for these organizations to use technology to deliver on their missions in a very effective and scalable way, both when engaging with supporters and when managing back-end operations.”

Key Technology Trends to Watch in 2014:

  • Mobile will be even more pervasive:
    Mobile will continue to be an essential part of how nonprofits engage with supporters and expand the reach of their staff.Nearly half of emails are now read on mobile devices. This means having a mobile-friendly approach to engaging donors has never been more important. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the platform of choice for computing and collaboration versus sitting behind a desk, and will change how organizations leverage data and drive mission delivery.

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