Don’t miss a trick.
Don’t leave older people out.
Most young people are online – that’s no surprise to anyone. But let’s not leave anyone behind. Older people are not only very active online but they’re more active when engaging with charities – in many cases, more so than the average millennial.
Over-65s are 2x more likely to have set up a direct debit to a charity online than an 18-24 year old.
The average age of the 44% of people who have donated to charity online is 49 years old.
Actions performed, on average, by older people were:
- Donated to a fundraiser online
- Donated via a charity representative in the street
Older people’s increased likelihood of supporting charity overcomes the lower numbers of older people online, making them bigger supporters of charity online overall.
Our research found that older people aren’t being swayed by charity online marketing. Ensure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any online campaign messaging or advertising should be optimised for young people. Older people are online, active and are giving in greater numbers than Gen Z’ers or Millennials. Facebook is particularly effective when it comes to reaching this age group, so start there, as well as the usual search and email channels.
In terms of engaging younger people, our research shows that younger people are far more likely to take you up on a one-off volunteering opportunity or to engage in a fundraising event or challenge. Start off with this, and work your way up to a donation ask, rather than going straight in for the direct debit ask.
One organisation embracing people’s willingness to give their time online is Turn2us.
Turn2us is coordinating a network of volunteers of all ages across the country to act as digital buddies for people who are not claiming the benefits they’re entitled to, potentially due to stigma, a complex process, or lack of digital literacy. These volunteers have lived experience of applying for benefits themselves and can also support with mentoring and reducing isolation. As a result of this peer to peer support programme, Turn2us saw anxiety levels decrease by 56% amongst the applicants and life satisfaction scores increase by 126%.
Don’t think digital stops when it comes to getting those younger audiences to volunteer. Digital volunteering opportunities are a great way to engage a younger base and, combined with the right technology, can have an amazing impact. Turn2us uses this to great effect with their Connect service.
Young people support charities. But not necessarily online, and not necessarily with their wallet.
When young people are online, they’re more likely to donate as a result of seeing a cause shared online. 18-24s were 4x more likely to have been influenced by a cause shared online than 65+ year olds.
Actions performed, on average, by younger people were:
- Holding a fundraising event
- One-off volunteering
Demonstrating younger people take their support for charities offline; not just online.
Perhaps as a result of typically having fewer resources, younger people are less likely to donate online – but this is offset by a greater willingness to ‘muck in’ in other ways.
Many charities have considered ‘young’ and ‘digital audiences to basically be the same. Our research shows this isn’t true.
Think not only about the demographic of your audience but the action you want them to take. If it’s giving money then you’ll likely get more income from a smaller number of older donors than you will from reaching a large crowd of younger people on social media.
If you’re working on encouraging young supporters to join your base then consider giving them campaign or volunteering actions first, and growing a relationship from there, rather than jumping straight to the donation ask.
Online fundraising is reaching a crossover point
The number of people that donate online and offline are almost equal for the first time, and the trend is continuing. Donating online will soon be the most popular way to give, yet it accounts for a much smaller proportion of income than offline methods.