All in the Family
Boomers and leading-edge Gen Xers are demanding intimacy from their charities of choice. Because the need for highly personalized service and treatment is greater, many organizations are maintaining state-of-the-science relational databases that provide one view of a constituent or family’s relationship with the organization — as volunteer, service recipient, event participant. At the same time, advances in production technology have provided communication processes and tools with high levels of customization, allowing communication with these households on a very personal level and providing specific, relevant information.
Successful family-focused fundraising recognizes the priorities of today’s parents, including:
Managing their time: Today’s parents are pressed for time, juggling work, home and children’s schedules that look like diplomatic itineraries. Easy-to-use gift forms and online access will ease the way to donations.
Benefits of donating should include sites or portals for families that feature pre-screened, age-appropriate information, tips and tricks for family activities, or suggestions for how to plan a trip to visit your organization or work site. The Baltimore Aquarium does this exceedingly well by offering families tips on which days to visit, which entrances to use, and what exhibits to see when. If you’ve ever chased four 10-year-old boys around the shark tank, you know how valuable this type of guidance can be.
Affirming their parenting skills: Today’s parents were America’s first generation of “latch-key kids.” This leads to a lot of questions about the “right way” to raise children, a much bigger parenting section at Barnes & Noble, and a big opportunity for nonprofits to help them in this important job.
By explaining the importance of teaching philanthropy, you can assure parents that they are making the right decision in utilizing their giving to teach their children. This can be accomplished by using a parent spokesperson within your organization to speak to the challenges they face, establishing a positive peer-to-peer relationship, and putting your organization inside the circle of trust.