What do you get when you combine standing-room-only attendance, one enthusiastic author and the topic of generational fundraising? You have the makings of a terrific exchange of ideas. I had the pleasure of conducting a CausePlanet interview with Emily Davis at the United Way Worldwide Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana this week. Davis’ book, Fundraising and the Next Generation: Tools for Engaging the Next Generation of Philanthropists, was the basis of our discussion.
As some of you know, the CausePlanet author interview is an interactive format where attendees are encouraged to join in by submitting questions and comments for the author along with me. This particular group had some great input that enhanced our discussion about integrating Gen X and Y into your strategic resource planning. A variety of strategies were discussed during the interview and I wanted to pass along two in particular.
Consider these strategies:
Look at your Traditionalists (born 1900-1945) and Boomers (born 1946-1964) and research their family members: Who among these generations is supporting your organization? Do they have children you can involve on a volunteer basis so when they reach their giving years, they’re ready to give? You can’t afford to dismiss the younger philanthropists because their gifts may be smaller. In reality, Davis’ research demonstrates how the younger generation is giving amounts relatively equal to generations that have preceded them. Furthermore, around 63 percent of Davis’ respondents report their financial contributions are affected by where they volunteer.
Consider forming a parent/child program: Another interview attendee explained how he had formed a program that involves fathers and sons working together on behalf of the cause. More than 70 million people are under the age of 30, rivaling Boomers in purchasing and voting power. Generation X and Millennials were raised on community service so they’re going to be receptive to an opportunity to volunteer especially when it involves the added value of family time. While mothers and fathers are more accustomed to traditional forms of giving, their children may have the financial means to deliver a large check or raise larger numbers of smaller donations from their peers, friends, and family through the simple click of a button. Together, these family teams can be an incredible resource.
In light of the fact that Millennials outpace Boomers in size and anticipated wealth, what are you doing to prepare and engage Generation X and Millennials now?
Follow this discussion online, read Davis’ blog or purchase her book at www.emilydavisconsulting.com
Or, you can purchase a Page to Practice summary of Davis’ book or numerous other titles in our CausePlanet store or subscribe for complete access to our summary library.