Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Young donors are where it's at.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy included several articles in their recent publication about how our current economic times are affecting different nonprofits, including information about a recent survey, and it's results: "29% of Americans Plan to Cut Giving This Year." Yikes.

The survey found that although donors over 65 planned to give less or not at all, donors between 25 and 34 plan to increase this donations this fall. This will be an interesting shift for many nonprofit organizations that have been focusing on older donors for years.

This goes to show you, young donors are where it's at. They are starting giving circles and giving away their fortunes. And some have found that they give just as much as older donors.

So, how to reach these generous young donors? Well, the first and most obvious answer is- use technology! Young donors are online, they are using facebook and myspace, they check their email multiple times per day, they scout charities by looking at their websites and blogs. Also, young donors have indicated that they want to make our world a better place to live, so make sure to explain very specifically how their donation- regardless the amount- makes a real difference. And don't forget to get them involved with your board of directors, having a young person on your board will often bring new ideas into the organization and help you reach more young donors.

Now remember, as the years pass, people will tell you to focus on different age groups (a year ago some told you to give up on younger donors), but always keep in mind that young donors are the future. They will be alive and committed to your organization for 30, 50, 70 years to come.