Nonprofits and Boomers: Are We Missing the Boat?

Click to read Carole Fleck’s article for AARP, “Boomers Most Generous at Charitable Giving.” Photo courtesy of Fotolia.

This article was once a post in my “Recent Thoughts” section. I felt its message was so important, however, that I have moved it to the primary article section on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog.

The main focus of my work has been on securing significant donations from individuals, families, foundations and corporations in support of worthy nonprofit endeavors of all kinds. My discussions about Baby Boomers are among the most-visited on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog.

In summer, 2015, Ashley Lutz wrote for Business Insider, “Retailers are alienating the most important customers – and it’s hurting business.” Ashley cites Hilary Stout in The New York Times:

“After all, the millennial generation has less wealth and more debt than other generations did at the same age, thanks to student loans and the lingering effects of the deep recession.”

Ashley also recognizes the findings of Forrester Research, “While addressing older shoppers is often perceived as less sexy, they are a larger segment of the population than those under 35 and have significant disposable income.”

Further, “They are already spending more on shopping than young shoppers.”

I have likened retail marketing to nonprofit marketing on several occasions. There are many lessons to be learned by nonprofits from the for-profit sector. The American Marketing Association describes marketing as follows:

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

More time should be spent by the nonprofit sector on cultivating, educating – and marketing to – Baby Boomers and older generations. This makes good financial sense.

Baby Boomers and older generations are among the most charitably-inclined of any generation, and they are using social media and the Internet at increasing rates. One of my original blog articles includes a number of links to other resources that support these facts, “Baby Boomers and Seniors Are Embracing Digital Media.”

Coming of Age is a helpful resource for marketing to Baby Boomers and older generations that I discovered a few years ago. In fact, I would venture to say clicking on this link may be one of the most important things you do today, or any day!

Here are a few “Boomer” traits discussed by Coming of Age in, “Our Understanding of the Older Consumer”:

  • Increased individualism

  • Increased demand for facts

  • Increased response to emotional stimuli

  • Less self-oriented, more altruistic … (and more).

Keep the above in mind as you develop your fundraising and communications initiatives in the months and years ahead!

Certainly, nonprofit organizations should market to all generations. But Baby Boomers and older generations have such great potential. Yet, as a group they are often overlooked. Don’t miss the boat!

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