The Future of Fundraising: What a Difference Five Years Will Make
Millennials and technology are synonymous. It’s how they relate to the world and each other. So it’s how they are going to relate to your organization, too.
In addition to communicating with and engaging millennials via all the usual means — websites, social networks, microsites, banners, mobile, digital and analog out-of-home, digital video and television, texting, e-mail, blogs, QR codes, video telecommunications, and other multiscreen consumer environments — I believe we will also see a significant growth in affinity group texting.
Texting is the preferred means of communicating for millennials
As this generation is its own tribe, and texting is its preferred means of communication, then it will continue to embrace affinity group texting in big numbers.
Adopting texting technologies that will foster and enable community building is what fundraisers should be doing now if you want your organization or cause to become a totem for this tribe.
But don’t show up in these mediums and start selling or pleading your case for giving unless you do so with authenticity and transparency. Not only has this group grown up with technology, it can also smell insincerity a mile away. This generation of donors will most likely first become fans, then donors and volunteers.
According to Pew Research Center, millennials are also the most ethnically and racially diverse generation, the most politically progressive, the least religiously observant, and are more inclined toward trust in institutions than either of their two predecessor generations — Gen Xers (now 30 to 45) and baby boomers (now 46 to 64).
Also, millennials who are currently graduating college are turning to public-service jobs in rising numbers. You should make certain you are taking these factors into consideration if you want to begin communicating and building relationships with them.
This new five-year reality also has great significance for baby boomers, and it means adapting how and what we communicate with them. Since boomers are retiring at such a fast rate and in such high numbers, fundraisers would be wise to increase their planned-giving appeals and communications while shoring up their planned-giving staffs.