We hear this question a lot: How can I get younger donors?
But the question you should be asking yourself is: How can my organization engage more with younger constituents?
The average age of donors has always been older, and there are good reasons for that. It’s important to understand these reasons, and recognize that younger generations approach philanthropy differently than their parents and grandparents.
Think about the age of someone you consider to be a younger donor. For some fundraising programs this might be someone in their 50s, but for others it might be someone in their 20s or 30s. These younger generations may have financial priorities that older generations might not: raising young children, saving to buy a home, paying off student loans, saving for retirement, for instance. Plus, in many cases, young workers are not as established in their careers. They might be making less money than older workers.
However, this does not mean that younger generations are not interested in your mission. Younger generations are highly philanthropic. They want to develop a strong relationship with the organizations they engage with. They tend to engage with fewer organizations so they can make a bigger impact on the causes they focus their attention on.
Consider ways younger people can get involved with your mission and your organization:
- Host events for young families
- Hold networking events for young professionals in your area
- Focus on recruiting younger volunteers – and provide volunteer opportunities that don’t conflict with a full-time work schedule
- Ask existing young supporters to join a young friends committee
- Launch a monthly-giving program, if you don’t have one already
- Consider participating in #Giving Tuesday. Make it a social activity! Use it to build a culture of giving, and give people the opportunity to share why they donate and volunteer.
But don’t forget to include your current older donors! Offer donors of all ages opportunities to introduce new/younger family members and friends to your organization, through events, gift memberships, or the planned-giving process.
The bottom line is you are building a community of support. Focus on making the most of all of your relationships, and it’s sure to pay off in the long run.
About the Author:
Brett Jones, Vice President
Brett joined DMW Fundraising in June 2009 with 13 years of prior direct response agency experience. She manages membership and fundraising programs for a range of nonprofit organizations. In her prior roles, she worked on strategic planning, budgeting, client service, reporting/results analysis, telemarketing, data processing, and direct mail production.