Are Millennials the Most Likely to Give Online? (Maybe Not)
Hall and Oates, peanut butter and jelly, Tommy and Gina, Millennials and the Internet—some things just go together. But that doesn’t make them mutually exclusive. (Chocolate and peanut butter, anyone?)
While Millennials have become nearly synonymous with social networks and the Internet, it turns out they aren’t the most likely to use them for giving. That title belongs to donors 40 to 59 years old, according to the most recent survey commissioned by Dunham+Company, a marketing, fundraising and public relations company for nonprofits, and conducted by Campbell Rinker, a marketing research company for nonprofits.
The survey, which has been conducted annually since 2010, included 400 U.S. adult donors who had given at least $20 in the previous year.
Here’s a quick look at some of the survey’s findings:
- In 2015, 67 percent of donors 40 to 59 years old gave online—a 20 percent increase since the survey began in 2010.
- Online giving among donors younger than 40 is headed in the downward direction—54 percent in 2015, compared to 60 percent in 2014.
- Fifty-four percent of donors older than 60—the same amount as those donors younger than 40—reported giving online.
While the 40- to 59-year-old age range blends the older members of Generation X and younger members of the Baby Boomers together, it does push Millennials out of the mix.
So, does social media play a key role in the online-giving formula?
In short, yes—but not necessarily as a means of receiving direct donations. Instead, it offers a platform to foster community engagement and to have donors ask other donors to join the cause.
The number of donors who said they gave on a charity’s website as a result of being asked by another individual through social media is up 6 percent from 2014—from 20 to 26 percent.
“Donors are not responding more to requests for support from organizations through social media,” Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company, said in the findings. “They are responding to friends or others they know who, through social media, ask them for support of a specific charity, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Social media for nonprofits is still primarily a means to build community and engagement rather than a fundraising tool.”
What does this mean for your nonprofit?
Have you been targeting a younger audience in your online giving campaigns and social networks?
Your organization may be putting a lot of effort, energy and resources into an online strategy targeted at a generation less likely to give online than others. It may be time to give that strategy another look and start catering more to aging donors.
For further details on the findings, view the full survey here.