All of the development professionals at the Palomar Pomerado Health Foundation agreed that the organization has donors under the age of 45. The majority (67%) of all respondents agreed that they communicate with current donors differently based on their age or generation because “phone or snail mail is more effective for seniors and phone or email is more effective for younger donors.” The majority (44%) agreed that the organization has strategies for engaging younger donors like “social networking, events, tours of the facility and an effort to redesign the website to engage younger audiences.” Strategies used by these development officers to engage and communicate with the next generation of donors include:
- direct mail (100%)
- website (89%)
- email (89%)
- events (89%)
- phone (68%)
- in-person meetings (68%)
- facebook (33%)
- twitter (33%)
The majority (38%) of all respondents are looking at different fundraising strategies to reach out to various generations. The majority (67%) of all respondents agreed that the organization has used social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) to communicate with current or prospective donors. The majority (67%) felt that that using social media for communicating with their donors is valuable because “whatever is a relevant method of communicating is important!”
Respondents felt that there were benefits of working with donors under the age of 45 are:
- opportunities to build long-term relationships
- opportunities to develop future board members, campaign leaders and advocates for the cause in the community
- Younger donors are more apt to using technology and social media to communicate and interact
- They are also well connected and networked in the community making them good volunteers.
- In some cases, the younger generations have made a great deal of money in a short period of time and need to learn quickly about philanthropy (as opposed to giving money to the government).
There were also challenges of working with donors under the age of 45 like:
- how busy their schedules are with young children
- limited time to give to the organization because they are focused on developing their careers
- the fact that younger donors often feel they won’t need a hospital for a long time
- some potential younger donors do not yet appreciate the need to give back to the community
Does your organization have donors under the age of 45? What are the benefits and challenges of working with younger donors?