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4 Ways Ministries Can Engage Different Generations

When you work to learn more about what inspires and motivates each of today’s five generations, your ministry can more effectively engage them. Each generation has unique characteristics and has developed ways of communicating and interacting with ministries and nonprofits that are distinct from the other generations. Each has different values, passions, and concerns. For instance, 88 percent of the Greatest Generation (born from 1910 to 1924) gives to charity, and its citizens give 25 percent more often than younger generations. They respond best to direct mail and phone calls.

Here are four ways your nonprofit can engage different generations.

Leverage Social Media

Millennials (born from 1981 to 1995), Generation X (born from 1965-1980), and Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964) all use social media, and Generation Z (born from 1996 to the present) has grown up with social media. The Greatest Generation is the only generation that typically doesn’t use social media at all.

According to NonprofitSource, all generations except for the Greatest Generation are active on their phones, checking social media, texts, and email. Millennials respond well to texts and posts on social media. Around 59 percent of Generation X has donated to a charity after seeing a message or image on social media, and 21 percent of Baby Boomers gave through Facebook.

Be Transparent

Building trust with donors of any generation is the best way to engage them. Be open about your nonprofit’s goals. Disclose who benefits from donations, how much you’ve received, and how and when donations are raised and dispersed. Make sure your website includes this information. Provide visual proof such as photos and videos.

Offer Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities allow members of each generation to learn more about the workings of your organization. Because Baby Boomers are retired or approaching retirement, they often have more time to volunteer than other generations, with 71 percent of them volunteering locally. Nearly 60 percent of companies offer paid time off for employees to volunteer, and 64 percent of Gen Xers give their time to local organizations.

Provide Monthly Giving Campaigns

Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation, and more Millennials are in the workforce than members of Generation X. Workplace and monthly giving campaigns are popular among each generation, with 40 percent of Millennials enrolled in a monthly giving campaign, 49 percent of Generation X, and 49 percent of Baby Boomers.

Keep these generations in mind as you develop your marketing plans. With detailed reports, like the ones provided by StudioEnterprise with Advanced CRM, your ministry can determine which generations to reach and how. You may decide to continue with current strategies, or you may determine to tailor your strategies for those groups you want to develop, perhaps a phone campaign for the Greatest Generation, more visual social media content for your Generation X donors, or an email campaign to recruit Baby Boomers to volunteer at your next event.

By keeping these four strategies in mind, you’ll be better prepared to engage the different generations and improve your ministry’s relationship with each one.

Let DonorDirect help you identify and reach these generations. Click here for a demo.