Charities must look beyond direct mail to engage older donors

| 4th Sep 14

According to a new report, ‘Time for UK Fundraising to Look Up,’ charities could be missing out on donations by not engaging with older people through online and mobile channels.

It also found that charities are too preoccupied with engaging younger people and they should look beyond direct mail when targeting older donors.

The report by Xtraordinary Fundraising, Forster Communications and Blackbaud looks at the giving habits of baby boomers and civics. It is based on interviews with 1,498 UK donors and compares their giving habits to their peers in the US and Canada.

Older UK donors fall behind the US and Canada when it comes to online giving and visiting charity websites, but are more likely than their peers to donate through social media or by text message.

Stephen Butler, co-founder of Xtraordinary Fundraising said: “Many charities are busy trying to reduce the average age of their doors but perhaps they should be considering whether there are doing enough to fully engage older donors who are the ones who give the most. The days of mopping up older donors just through direct mail are really over.”

Peter Gilheany, director at Forster Communications, said: “Businesses are only just waking up to older people as a lucrative consumer audience but many charities already have close relationships with them as donors. Those relationships could be a lot deeper and more numerous if charities invest more in integrated approaches to this audience.”