There is a common belief within the fundraising sector that the older generations are more generous when it comes to fundraising. With many organisations tailoring their traditional marketing towards audiences of 35+. This has left charities trying wondering how to increase fundraising from younger groups. Many organisations have spent heavily in digital channels in an attempt to reach those audiences. Often relying on other established fundraising channels, such as face-to-face, to target their equally traditional older donors. However, results are declining for these more traditional marketing mediums across the sector. Leaving many charities in a tricky situation. Although, by limiting digital fundraising to ‘younger donors’, fundraisers are building their programmes based on a potentially outdated notion of who they think the audience is, or where they are.
The Modern Generation
Those assumptions are quickly becoming oudated. In the UK 70.5% of over-55s use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp. Whilst this is not as much as the 97% seen in the 16-24 age bracket, but it’s catching up, and quickly. Similar to this, 9 out of 10 over-55s now have a social media network, whilst 7 out of 10 said they’d watched videos online in the last month. When you also factor in that 98.4% of over-55s use search engines to find information and products. It suggests that charities using digital methods to reach only younger audiences are missing out on a wider audience. Traditional channels still work for many older donors, but not all. And even for those who still respond to TV and print, there is no reason that digital cannot work alongside these methods to increase fundraising for charities. The shift to digital isn’t showing signs of slowing down with the majority of all generation groups having access to digital media. If charities are willing to put aside their preconceptions they can use digital and social media channels to add an entirely new level of value to their fundraising efforts.