How older donors (that is, donors) think

If you’re realistic, you know that fundraising is a form of “elder marketing.” So realistic fundraisers will appreciate this post from Engage:Boomers: 10 Behavioral Distinctions Of Older Customers.


  1. Increased individualism
  2. Increased demand for facts
  3. Increased response to emotional stimuli
  4. Less self-oriented, more altruistic
  5. Increased time spent in making purchase decisions
  6. See fewer differences between competing products
  7. See more differences between competing companies
  8. For discretionary purchases, decreased sensitivity to price, but increased sensitivity to affordability
  9. Increased price-sensitivity in nondiscretionary spending
  10. Often project what seems to be contradictory behavior

Number 4 is why the ranks of donors are dominated by older people. Many of these other distinctives give us clues for strong fundraising from this critical group.

Number 1 helps explain why charity fads (like colored armbands) can make a huge splash, but don’t have staying power. Older people aren’t as susceptible to fads.

Number 2 tells us why giving specifics makes fundraising work so much better. Sure, donors like the cause. But they need solid information to push them over the line and make the gift.

Number 3 points out the importance of using stories and images to make the case for donors.

Number 5 may help us understand the staying power of direct mail for fundraising. It’s just a much “slower” medium than almost any other, allowing the donor to spend as much time considering the offer as she wants.


Comments

4 responses to “How older donors (that is, donors) think”

  1. i think the first ‘donors’ in your title should be customers.

  2. i think the first ‘donors’ in your title should be customers.

  3. T think this applies to customers as well as donors.

  4. T think this applies to customers as well as donors.

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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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