There are many reasons why you should focus your attention on acquiring donations from Generation X. Members of this generation, born between 1965 and 1980, are generally past the point of starting fresh. For the most part, they have established careers and families and established incomes. These are the donors who will eventually become your major donors and designate your nonprofit as a beneficiary for wills and bequests. Get started recruiting and retaining Generation X donors using these strategies.
One of the best ways to reach Gen X donors is to inspire them. Nonprofits do this a number of ways, but all methods boil down to sharing a good nonprofit story. Storytelling for nonprofits takes a number of forms, from written stories highlighting client success stories to videos and images showcasing your nonprofit’s work in the field. Share these stories through email, websites, social media accounts, and direct mailings. Members of Generation X don’t have a strict preference when it comes to communications. Some like phone calls, while others prefer email or direct mail. The best way to determine how you should reach out to your donors is by trial and error. When you inspire donors, they’re motivated to act. Your job is to form an emotional connection between every Gen X donor and your nonprofit through stories that prove your impact in the world.
After you inspire your prospective donor, it’s time to turn that inspiration into action. Nonprofits must continue providing prospective, new, current, and even lapsed Gen X donors opportunities to get involved on a deeper level. Customize donor engagement opportunities based on your donor’s preferences. These are proven ways to engage Generation X donors:
- Encourage donors to share stories on social media about how your work impacts them.
- Ask donors to forward information about your current fundraising campaigns to friends and family through email.
- Recruit volunteers to participate in cause-related projects.
- Run an online fundraising campaign where supporters aren’t just donors, but also fundraisers.
- Bring Gen X donors in as board members or to assist with strategic planning.
Engaging Gen X donors converts them from peripheral to activate participants responsible for the success of your nonprofit.
Ask and Thank
When the time comes to ask for a donation, do so by acknowledging the process of inspiration and engagement your Generation X donor just went through. At this point, there is enough of a foundation set to ask for a donation using your Generation X’s preferred method of communication (if known). Be sure to acknowledge that supporter’s past participation when making the ask. Consider different ways to raise funds, including direct mail, email solicitations, and online fundraising campaigns. If they decide to give a financial gift, show appreciation immediately and often. Right after giving, send donors a donation receipt. Follow that with a handwritten note or phone call just to say thanks. Gen X donors appreciate this gesture of appreciation.
Follow the Cycle Over Again
Over 80% of Canadians over the age of 15 give to charitable organizations. How are you standing out with the Generation X demographic? To stay top-of-mind, continue the cycle of inspiration, engagement, asking, and thanking your donors. This process, repeated often, will ensure a strong, long-lasting relationship with Gen X donors for years to come.