Generation Y is one of the first population segments that knows the true meaning of instant gratification, according to Kelly Mahoney, president of marketing agency Newport Creative Communications. A three-week fulfillment window as a standard response is not going to help you cultivate a long-term relationship, she explains. Here, Mahoney discusses what Generation Y’ers mean for fundraising.
FundRaising Success: Define the role of college-aged people in philanthropy.
Kelly Mahoney: “You’ve no doubt heard about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the dynamic television duo who rocketed to stardom with their broadcast finesse, their unique line of clothing and books, videos and assorted merchandise. Then there’s Charlotte Church, the musical prodigy who became a worldwide sensation, at the age of 13.
“If you’re thinking that these three young adults have nothing to do with philanthropy, think again.
“Welcome to Generation Y — typically referred to as the children of the baby boomer segment. Generation Y ranges from current college-aged adults to children who are old enough to remember Sept. 11, 2001. This is a generation that filters, sorts, prioritizes, eliminates and processes more marketing messages than just about any other population group in existence.
“And whether you like it or not, Generation Y represents the future of philanthropy. … And just like the boomers, who redefined the ‘hot brands’ on the commercial side, Generation Y will be redefining their perceptions of the charitable landscape in the near future.”
FS: How do you cultivate Gen Y’ers as donors?
KM: “In order to cultivate this new generation of potential donors, it’s key to go where the action is. What’s important about Generation Y is that they are not a ‘me too’ segment. Generation Y’ers are independent thinkers who cast an irreverence toward those mass-marketing messages.
“You can reach the Generation Y’ers by tapping into the right media mix, which includes MTV, niche cable stations, radio and print vehicles, social events, clubs, extreme-sports venues, in-person communications and, above all, the Web.