Are We Ready for These Young Kids?
Face-to-face social skills
As the mother of an 8-year-old, part of me is not surprised to hear that today’s teenagers lack face-to-face social skills. Everyone says that about teenagers! But what is interesting is how this could affect many of the community-engagement events with charities across the country.
Today’s charities engage kids through fundraisers in elementary school, middle grades and high school. This means we need to leverage the significant network of peers of this age group but not force today’s young adults into our face-to-face model. Yes, we want them to eventually show up to a track, walking course or some other specific location, but we also know the process of fundraising and cementing strong commitment to fundraising for an event starts long before the actual day of the event.
But it’s not as simple as just leveraging the digital space for the event. All the other elements of their expectations must be met. They need to get to information on the events quickly, and they need to find the right level of detail.
Additionally, this generation needs a different approach to recognition. As an example, these individuals aren’t willing to wait until the day of the event to find out about their progress or ranking in the fundraising competition. They are well-connected, so they expect everything about how the nonprofit runs the event to be digitally connected — not to mention accurate to the minute. Simply put, this is how they run their lives, so why would they expect a business or organization to be any different?
There’s a lot to think about. We have to keep it in perspective. Are these literally tomorrow’s donors? No. But are they a consumer group that will enter our priority space in the next five to 10 years? Yes. It’s not all bad; in fact the article does a great job of pointing out how we, as parents, teachers and even brands, can still connect with this hyperconnected group of future constituents.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.