So … we’ve been lapsed for a minute… we know. But, we’re reactivated with plenty to talk about! And what better time to come back than the cusp of the Convio Summit where we connected with old and new colleagues to refresh and learn!?
I attended a session on Wednesday taught by Mike Johnston, Founder and President of hjc, which broke down the Convio “Next Generation of American Giving” study that did, of course, plaster my Gen Y behavior bio as it relates to social causes on the screen. It was true to the tee!
- I don’t do mail
- I’ll “Like” and “Tweet” you before I go to your YouTube channel
- My first engagement with your cause was through mainstream media or WOM (real and virtual)
- I need to be cultivated … courted so to speak – take me to an event, show me your site … twice
- "By the way, what's in it for me?"
So, how many nonprofit organizations have actually considered this audience as one in which to invest? If not, have you ever thought about the migration of Gen Y through a donor cycle and wondered if we’d follow in a similar pattern of preceding generations? I’m sure you have. Will we become sustaining givers at age 60 like the Matures? Or will we forward eCards and donate via email like Gen X? Or neither? My take on the group, being a part of it, is that there are major cultural differences that prove 62 will not be our minimal threshold of giving. I would even argue that our philanthropic peek will be in mid-life stage, dwindling down as we age. Think about the life & personal characteristics of a 20something Gen Y’er:
As we reached our professional age, we witnessed first hand the economic recession of 2008. We are more familiar with communications, media and digital technologies and for the most part, more liberal. But because of what we’ve experienced, we have a lack of trust towards organizations and are able to see through marketing and sales tactics quite seamlessly. However, my generation is extremely cause-driven, but prefers to make an impact on our own terms (that fit in line with our already popular activities, behaviors and interests), and they’re not always monetary.
In fact, we’ve already proven our ability and desire to do just that by improving the world – in our own little social way. Recently, several sites have been customized for teens and 20somethings in Gen Y who have practically grown up with digital technology in cradles. We are the next generation of hopeful givers already becoming activists at a young age. Based on this behavior, why not target us before we hit the fab 6.0? Another way to look at my group as valuable is through the digital clout that we’re building. Even if/when our pockets get fat and we don’t turn into consistent donors, we may become the go-to influencers for rallying others online around your cause. Think about it. A few examples to get your mind flowing in the social space are below. Know of other examples? Do tell...
RT2Give: Retweet a worthy cause, give $10
RandomKid: Youth & parents - choose a cause, pick the solution, and "Make It Happen" on your profile page.
SocialVibe: Raise money by influencing others in your network to participate in branded activities.
Free Rice: Play a social game to end world hunger.
Endorse for a Cause: Endorse your favorite brands through social networking, get enough activity and watch your money "change the world."
Stay tuned for an expose on Gen X...
Amber is a Strategy Manager and soon-to-be Digital Geek in Merkle’s nonprofit vertical. She chooses to Do What Matters because “it’d be too easy not to. Challenge is good.”