Eight Connections to Young Donors

Young donors in the 20 to 40 age demographic are unique. Some have never lived in a household without a computer. Many are on at least one social networking site. Some actually think reality T.V. is normal.

Whatever you might learn about these young donors, it seems as though stages of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship still ring true, according to Derrick Feldmann, CEO of Indianapolis-based Achieve.

Feldmann explained how to break into the young demographic at the 46th annual Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) international fundraising conference in New Orleans. He outlined steps for building relationships with these young, social-savvy donors:

  • Engage potential young donors. Let them experience programs and reach out to young professional networks.
  • Engage potential young donors – again. Don’t ask for a gift just yet. Let them show more interest and include their inner circle of friends and family.
  • Network. Social networks aren’t limited to the Web. Introduce them to organizational leaders and peers within the nonprofit to build relationships.
  • Build trust. Be proactive in your transparency. Tell them how donations are used and what programs the donations fund.
  • Seek non-financial support. Asking first for help, such as volunteer opportunities, instead of a donation. It will show that they are important to the organization and get their hands dirty.
  • Seek support financially. Now you can finally make a donation ask. Try to ask in person or on the phone first since the donor should have a relationship.
  • Steward. That doesn’t mean just continue to ask for donations. Keep the donor engaged in the programs and mission. Remind the donor – the more, the merrier. Encourage your donor to involve friends and family in the organization’s efforts.
  • Steward again. Keep connecting with the donor with volunteer opportunities. Ask your donors for permission to contact them in other ways, such as your email communications and social networks.

courtesy The NonProfit Times