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A New Generation of Donors

The next generation of donors is coming. Sure, Millennials have been a hot topic for fundraisers for years but the older members of Gen Z have recently begun entering college and the workforce. Gen Z now makes up 27% of the population and 30% have already donated to an organization. This number is expected to increase exponentially in the next few years.

The difference in outreach strategies between millennials and Gen Z-ers might not be clear at first, but there are two major differences. 

First, mobile-friendly content is more important than ever. While millennials have increased their average use of mobile devices, Gen Z is the first mobile-only generation, preferring to conduct all online activity through their phone. This means mobile optimized giving pages and forms are the only way to convert these donors.

Second, Gen Z is much more likely to undertake volunteer experiences as a way to build their resume. Over 70 percent of high schoolers are interested in volunteering. Your nonprofit can take advantage of this trend by involving Gen Z’s in your community in fundraising activities as social ambassadors or event volunteers to encourage an affinity early.

Next Steps: Make sure you’re assessing your average donor often to adjust targeting when younger populations begin entering your pipeline. Collect and analyze donor data and adjust your fundraising activity as needed. When moving into the next year, follow some of these tips to reach out to Gen Z in a way that will get results.

A Shift in Social Media Usage

People share a majority of campaigns with family and friends through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but social usage could be on the decline next year. Within the last decade, social media has been used at an obsessive rate. This has brought up many issues in mental health that have spurred a discussion within the organizations of social platform and internet providers.

Facebook and Instagram have rolled out new time-management tools to help users take breaks from social activity and disconnect. Google also recently introduced a Digital Wellbeing app designed to help users track and monitor the time they spend on specific apps and online overall to encourage healthy habits.

Next Steps: Don’t focus all your campaign efforts entirely on your social media platforms. Branch out by asking a donor to share their version of your nonprofit story through emails, in-person or even on personal pages or appeals embedded on your campaigns. Use this resource to take an omnichannel approach to your online fundraising. Keep an eye on this fundraising trend to stay relevant with your donors.

An Increase in Video Engagement

Social media and digital donors are much more interested in watching content than reading it. It’s no surprise that video content is now the most popular form of online content and is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. These statistics have shown how much of an impact switching some content from text to video can have on an increase in organic traffic and overall engagement.

Studies show that viewers absorb 95% of a message when in video form compared to a low 10% when formatted as plain text.

Next Steps: Replace that paragraph you’re about to write with an embedded video and use smaller amounts of texts to keep your audience engaged. Keep your videos an average of 2 minutes long to receive the most engagement from your audience and use these free resources to help you easily develop compelling video content.

Email: It’s Baaaack

Some good news: email is not dead! Now is the time to increase your email fundraising efforts as the channel has reemerged as a trusted source of communication.

Rumors that email isn’t a practical way to gain donations have been circulating for the last few years, but statistics don’t lie. A study done by Dunham & Company revealed that email accounts for 26% of online revenue and that the number is estimated to rise in the near future. While only 6% of donors were willing to donate through email in 2012, that number rose to 28% in 2018.

In just 6 years people have begun to trust email as a part of their philanthropic endeavors, and this trust will grow moving forward. This is not a fundraising trend to be ignored.

Next Steps: Make sure you don’t focus solely on managing your email output but you take a look at response rates as well. Use these fundraising email best practices as a guide to high response rates.

A Focus on Monthly Giving

There was a dramatic increase in recurring monthly donations last year, one of the fundraising trends that is continuing into late 2018 and 2019.

Why are monthly givers so important? When a donor gives on a monthly basis it not only increases their long-term value, but they stay on file longer allowing you to discover secondary affinities and promote more giving opportunities. Monthly donors are also more likely to give larger amounts over time because monthly payments make it more manageable compared to large one-time gifts. 

Next Steps: Feature recurring giving options on the main donation page and create a campaign featuring individuals who are monthly givers and the impact they drive. This will help create a value proposition for those in your community who might be on the cusp of a time-focused commitment. Check out these tips for more ways to create and keep monthly donors.

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.