Here’s why to keep it simple

As a card-carrying Boomer, it pains me to admit it, but it seems some of us are already experiencing cognitive decline. (I thought it was from reading too many blogs; apparently it’s just plain old aging.)

A study recently reported at the Neuromarketing blog says Keep it Simple for Boomers & Seniors.

Using fMRI scans to examine younger and older adult brains during memory tasks, the researchers found that both young and old brains were able to activate their brains effectively for building memories, but the older brains were far worse at suppressing irrelevant information.

Since most donors now are Boomers and older, that’s who you’re talking to. Folks who have to work harder than you do to tune out distractions. Don’t raise barriers for them! The study makes these recommendations:


  • Keep the message obvious.
  • Use an uncluttered layout for copy and images.
  • Include some white space around the message.
  • On the Web, avoid distractions like running screens, sounds, and animations.

Oddly enough, while these recommendations are meant to make messages clear for older brains, they’re really recommendations for clear effective marketing to any ages.

We’ve known all along that simplicity works best. Now we have a brain-science reason behind it — that makes Boomers feel uncomfortable. Win-win!


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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