“Our donors are elderly, and they’re dying off!” If you’ve said that, you’re not alone. Here’s how to survive the demise of your older donors:
Your best-bet “young people” are actually those ages 45 to 65. They’re approaching their philanthropic years, and the right nudge can put you in their charitable portfolio.
Why not people younger than that? While people in their 20s and 30s respond to disasters and social media, or celebrity-driven fads, they don’t stick around. Their low retention rates will leave you high and dry after you’ve taken the trouble to reach them.
Young people become old people.
The aging of the Baby Boomer generation means there are more seniors in the population than ever before — more and more every day. For every older donor who dies, there are nearly two newly-elderly people taking their place. Your pool of donors is growing.
Choose your media.
If you raise funds only through direct mail, you’ll have an older donor base. It’s simply the nature of the medium. But you can lower the average age by diversifying to channels like online and broadcast (radio, especially) that attract younger donors.
These “new” old donors are not like the previous generation. You have to change your fundraising to connect with them. That means offering them:
- Power over how their money is used.
- A high level of professionalism about their data and their privacy.
- Proof that their giving is making the difference you told them it would. Control over the relationship they have with you. For example: Give them control over how often, when, and in what ways you communicate with them.
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