Young old people and the future of fundraising

My Aunt Marie once told me that your forties are the old age of your youth, and your fifties are the youth of your old age.

That fat part of the Boomer generation — those born in the mid to late 1950s — are now in their fifties. In the youth of their old age.

This is exciting news for fundraisers, but it changes a lot of things, as Seth Godin notes at Fifty is the new thirty:

This changes … the marketing of every service and product aimed at consumers–and yet most traditional advertisers are stuck in the mindset that thirty is the end of your chance to find a new customer or build a new brand.

Advertisers who keep on worshipping the shrinking youth market and ignoring the growing 50+ market will suffer.

As will fundraisers who don’t take notice of the groundswell that’s right under their feet. If you’re serious about growing in the coming years, you’ll be all over the soon-to-be-old market.

Here are some ways these new young-old donors behave that we need to pay attention to:


  • They want control over what their giving does. That means raising only unrestricted funds is going to be harder.
  • They seem to give larger amounts less frequently than older donors, and to support fewer organizations. That’s one reason it’s getting harder to find new donors.
  • They are slightly less responsive to direct mail, which means we need to get our act together online.
  • They cross channel lines. This is the biggest deal of all. The most common behavior is to respond to direct mail on the web. If your website appears to be unrelated to your direct mail, you are losing donors.


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog