I also worry about my financial future because my wife has a lot of expensive hobbies. But I have enough money to feel comfortable. So much so that when I make a donation to charity, I feel good about it — and I feel even better when they send me a little note saying how much they appreciate my support.
You see, I wonder how many direct mail fundraising executives in their 20s, 30s and 40s are actually making gifts to nonprofit organizations on a regular basis. I wonder how many of them have friends — real friends — my age. I wonder how many of them surf the AARP Web site? Or read Modern Maturity?
Do they realize that people in their 60s, 70s and 80s have fears and concerns that a 35-year-old never thinks about?
Think about real, live donors
Back at the nonprofit executive suite, direct mail fundraisers typically feel more comfortable writing case statements than emotionally wrenching letters. And they write letters that stay away from any revelation of their own emotional state.
But now I’m scolding. Sorry. I guess why I’m a little impatient here is because people over the age of 65 have a median net worth that is twice that of any other age group. And isn’t it remarkable that, while donor files are eroding and the cost of securing a new donor is escalating, the target audience is the fastest-growing, most affluent group in America?
I know, I know. Everyone wants to attract 45-year-old donors, and I’m constantly asked to create packages aimed at younger audiences.
But do you want a donor on your file who doesn’t have discretionary income? The donor I want is, well, me. Even though, unfortunately, I’m not a woman. Too bad. Maybe I’ll take up cross-dressing.