Digital Divide Might Be A Good Thing

August 26, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

The generation gap will never be closed. For nonprofit executives and fundraisers, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

It is accepted as immutable fact that fundraising approaches (mail, online, social media, etc.) must be tailored for different generations. Yes, it’s true, but it is also true that there can be significant overlap in how different generations react to pleas for help.

During the 2015 Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference, Danielle Kantor of Blue State Digital and Johanna Olivas of the United States Olympic Committee offered insights about closing the Digital Divide and finding ways to appeal to donors of all ages. They found, for example:

  • Ages 65+ will see the largest increase in social media users.
  • Millennials are on email, but on their phones.
  • Teens influence their parents’ behavior. They are trendsetters. They aren’t a core for fundraising, but they get their parents to make choices based on what they love. The five largest and most dominant social networks were first adopted by teens: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr.
  • Millennials (18-34) are motivated. They connect through social causes. They want to do the talking. Be there to listen.
  • Gen-X income is not so disposable. They have money, but they are focused on family commitments, like paying for the kids’ sports and activities.