Shake Off the Blues and Bring on the Boomers
OK, so we know the boomer population is huge, but we also know relatively few boomers donate even though they are hitting prime giving age. So what do the boomers want, and how do we capture and engage them?
The boomers live in a world where Amazon knows their interests (or at least what they bought for their children and grandchildren). They walk around the Gap while price shopping on their iPhones. And companies know just where they are in their life cycles. (Had a baby recently? See what kind of commercial mail and e-mail you get!)
But nonprofits? By and large, nonprofits just continue sending them the same mail pieces they send people 15 years their elder — with the odd e-mail and telemarketing campaigns thrown in from time to time. And few nonprofits talk to them like they know them, recognizing actions they've taken, events they've participated in or information they've provided across channels.
When was the last time a nonprofit thanked you, via a mail piece, for taking an online action? Or started a phone call by thanking you for participating in a recent event? Or recognized why you support that specific charity?
We reported in July on a recent study of donor satisfaction (conducted by Merkle, one of the author's employers) across four charities and discovered that donor satisfaction was shockingly low (38 percent of donors reported their satisfaction as "below average" or "poor"). But after peeling back the onion, analysts discovered that Great Generation donors were far more satisfied than boomers.
Boomers wanted more information about how their donations were used and to feel a closer relationship with the charity. And they weren't getting either.
So, the good news is that the opportunity is huge! We now know what donors want from their relationships with charitable organizations, and we have the tools to give it to them. But as large as the potential benefits are, so is the cost of inaction.