“Generation Y is a multicultural group, and a significant percentage come from divorced or single-parent homes. To appeal to this segment, there are several key strategies.
1. Personalize the message by ensuring that the content is relevant. Avoid personal elements that are gratuitous.
2. Prioritize your [e-mail and direct-mail] messages so that … your communication and your call to action ‘are above the fold.’
3. Think globally. Generation Y’ers are one of the first population segments that grew up with instantaneous access to news around the world. In general, they are keenly interested in global events and consequences.
4. Many of the Generation Y’ers have been encouraged to succeed in all aspects of their lives. Those charities that associate philanthropic giving with success, in terms of producing tangible results and a feeling of accomplishment, may have an advantage.”
FS: How does Generation Y differ from other donor segments? How is it the same?
KM: “Generation Y’ers tend to be influenced most by their peers. One strategy to elicit interest is to highlight [their] peers who have taken a leadership role within your organization.
“Look at the signer of your direct-mail letter. Is it relevant to this age group and, more importantly, is it relevant to the peer-group influence?
“Evaluate grassroots opportunities to communicate involvement. The Lance Armstrong [Foundation’s Live Strong] yellow bracelet is an effective example of garnering local involvement. The combination of Web, word of mouth, celebrity endorsement, peer influence and point of purchase at retail [locations] are all factors that helped fuel the demand for 30 million bracelets … and counting.”