Things We’ve Learned About Engaging Younger Donors
Earlier this week we had the dubious pleasure of attending a webinar by Brandswag CEO Kyle Lacy and Achieve CEO Derrick Feldmann on capturing engagement from the next generation. I say “pleasure” because the information they shared was all-together extremely helpful and, occasionally, surprising. I say “dubious” because it started at 8:00 am and we had neither the time nor the energy beforehand to procure an all-but-necessary supply of coffee or donuts.
The webinar specifically addressed engaging millenials (age 28 and under) as active donors to support causes and initiatives. Among the factoids presented were:
• 94% of people under 45 have cell phones (not surprising)
• Internet use on mobile phones will be more prevalent than on desktops by 2012* (not surprising)
• 44% of people don’t want to have a conversation with your organization – they only want the facts about they can help, and then wish to be left along (surprising, considering the industry-wide focus on creating meaningful conversations online)
And (our favorite), success comes from story-telling, whether you’re the one telling the stories (good) or your constituents are (better), and if you want to reach both the fact-focused people and the story-telling people, combine the stories with the facts.
Obviously mobile is important, and maybe it’s a relief that not everyone wants a full-on relationship, but why “combine the stories with the facts”? Because it addresses the primary concerns of the 20-something donor. They aren’t interested in a narrative about the amount of money your organization has raised. They’re not even interested in the number of members in your organization. All they want to know is where their money is going and who it is going to help. You can illustrate this by getting specific about what donations to your organization actually achieve, and encouraging the individuals your organization supports to share their experiences on your website and through your social channels.
Easy, right? Ok, maybe it isn’t easy, but it’s an excellent place to start. People are looking for authenticity in this increasingly marketing-centric world, and the best way to gain the attention (and intention) of your audience is to cut through the clutter and buzz words and get right to the heart of what can be done to help. Social channels, especially, should be used to connect people – whether it’s supporters to friends and family, supporters to other supporters, or supporters to beneficiaries.
Best of all, Kyle and Derrick provided real-life examples (my favorite!) of organizations that use their web presences in brilliant ways. Here are a couple of them, for your reference:
If you have any experiences with engaging millenials, story-telling, fact-finding or connecting your audience, we’d love to hear about it.