How to connect with older donors

How do you connect with Boomers differently from younger donors? There are some key differences that may surprise you.

This excellent post from the Engage:Boomers blog outlines some of the cognitive differences between Boomers and younger generations: 6 Ways to Effectively Communicate With People In The Fall & Winter Of Life:


  1. Baby Boomers’ (50 to 68) intuition may enable them to size up a situation more quickly than young customers might but their cognitive or reasoning processes tends to be slower.
  2. Baby Boomers are also more resistant to absolutism. Hyperbole or strongly worded and delivered claims about a product’s features and benefits usually doesn’t sit well.
  3. Baby Boomers rely more on emotional reactions than younger customers to determine if they should think about a matter. They do so because they have a richer database of emotionally coded knowledge on how to manage situations.
  4. Baby Boomers’ first impressions tend to be more durable and difficult to reverse than those of younger customers.
  5. Stories work better for getting Baby Boomers’ attention than expository copy.
  6. Baby Boomers tend to be more holistic in perceptions and thinking. They tend to be better at seeing “the big picture.”

Note that these distinctions aren’t specific to Boomers only, but to all people as they age. If you can get these things into your heart and imagination, your fundraising will be much, much more effective.


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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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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.

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