It sounds crazy, but nonprofits hoping to find success in fundraising among Baby Boomers will have to find ways to re-engage with them. Re-engage with a group that gives $47 billion annually?
Yes, because that group is giving less, not more, since the Great Recession.
Speaking during the National Catholic Development Conference, Larry Meltzer, agency principal and creative director of MM2 Public Relations, attributed this drop in support to the economic situation and to the wide array of choices Boomers have in today’s philanthropic market. They feel the pinch, but they have a lot of entities asking them for money.
To re-engage Boomers, Meltzer said, it is necessary to take a fresh look at:
- Where you’re communicating (the channel). Boomers are receptive to pitches from friends/family or email. They are not receptive to street canvassing or door-to-door canvassing. They’re even good with regular mail. They like visiting an organization’s Website, receiving emails or enewsletters or receiving information in the mail. They do not like following social network sites, using mobile apps or receiving text messages.
- What you’re communicating (the message). Talk about values vs. membership and giving. Move from selling to story-telling. Boomers desire a personal connection, more information on how funds are used and connecting the ask to the result.
- How you’re communicating (the technique). Show, don’t tell. Move beyond words to pictures, video and graphics. Create multiple points of entry to the message. Provide proof of how their donations make a tangible difference.