How to connect with the army of Boomers who want to change the world

Boomers now range in age from 51 to 69. They are pouring into the donor demographic, become more critical to fundraisers every day.

What does that mean for us?

The Engage:Boomers blog says it means we’d better start telling Boomers more stories if we want to motivate them to action: Do You Have A Story To Tell? Baby Boomers Want To Hear It.

Here’s why:

As we age, we tend to experience an increase in right brain participation in our mental functions. The right brain is as different from the left brain in how it sees and makes sense of life ….

The emotional, intuitive right brain is less interested in details than in the total picture. The left brain sees things in terms of categories; the right brain in terms of relationships.

As you transition into old age, your right-brain becomes more and more powerful, more the real decision-maker.

This is new for Boomers, but it’s not new for fundraising. We’ve been talking to older people before Boomers started trying to make Old cool.

So we don’t need to wait for Boomers get older before we change. We need to do this stuff NOW:


  • Use images, the right images, to tell the story about how they can change the world through your organization. If you want them to help you solve a problem, you need to show them a literal picture of the problem. Not a picture of the problem already solved.
  • Appeal to their emotions. They aren’t going to give because the stats and facts prove that your cause is a big deal. They’ll give if their hearts break and they can see there’s hope when they give.
  • Tell stories. They get stories. Make sure it’s the story abut them changing the world, not about how awesome your organization is.


Comments

2 responses to “How to connect with the army of Boomers who want to change the world”

  1. This is great advice, but it’s second-best. If you REALLY want to engage boomers, don’t just tell us stories: ask us to tell ours.

  2. This is great advice, but it’s second-best. If you REALLY want to engage boomers, don’t just tell us stories: ask us to tell ours.

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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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