Growing Donor Files: It's Time for a New Approach
First, a quiz. Anyone remember what we talked about in the November column? Here’s a hint: It was about baby boomers and the missed opportunities among those prospects. Ring any bells?
Allow us to refresh your memory. This population is growing — dramatically. More than 72 million people 65+ are expected by 2030 (less than 17 years from now)! That’s up from 40 million in 2010. And these prospective donors require a different type of messaging that is part of a multichannel approach.
As you may also recall, we noted that nonprofits are failing to capture boomers (especially younger ones under age 55) the way they’ve captured previous generations. Why? In today’s fast-food world of Amazon.com personalization and mobile smartphones everywhere, we, the nonprofit community, are failing to meet their expectations. Baby boomers expect to be engaged in a far more meaningful way than the generations before them. They want more information about how their donations were used. They want to be a part of your winning team and to feel a closer relationship with the charity. And they want it through the channel(s) of their choice at the time of their choosing.
So what’s a savvy nonprofit marketer to do? (That’s you, by the way …)
Time to change
It’s time for us to move beyond a one-size-fits-all, campaign-based approach to a true individual-level approach. Yes, we know, there’s lots of talk about moving to a constituent-centric approach. There is some action — just not a lot. And the potential is big; we think very big.
Imagine if the restaurant industry had only one type of restaurant (think diner targeting septuagenarians). Yeah, maybe there are some special booths with nicer cushions for “regulars” (monthly donors), and the chef comes out to visit the big-time patrons (major donors) now and then. But for most, there’s generally just one type of diner — and it’s catering to a generation that’s slowly passing on.