How to reach Gen Z, the digital natives
Gen Z are the first generation who have grown up with the internet. How can you reach them?
Grabbing the attention of a demographic that contains many teenagers can be tough – but capturing their imagination can lead to viral sensations. Understanding who they are as a generation is key for charity digital leaders looking to reach out to audiences of the future. Classy, a fundraising platform for non-profits and charities, found that 32% of this generation donate their own money. In the UK, young people gave £2.2 billion in 2017 to over 4,800 charities.
Just seven years old, the younger members of Gen Z are the first generation to grow up entirely with mobile phones, constant communication, and social media.
- They have a purchasing power of nearly $44 billion
- 75% of their free time is spent online
- Mobile phones are at their fingertips
We examine some of the techniques charity leaders can use to spread the message, fundraise and do good deeds.
Short and snappy
The attention span of Gen Z is much shorter than previous generations – 8 seconds is frequently reported. Charity digital leaders looking to market to this age demographic need to get the message across quickly.
Choosing a platform based on your message and medium
Engagement with Gen Z can mean choosing the right social media platform. According to a recent study, here are some of the most popular platforms and features used on a daily basis:
- Instagram – Home of the social media influencers who do good, curated photos, and short videos via Stories, Instagram can help charity digital leaders leverage the power of brands. According to Forbes magazine, Instagram is where Gen Z look for brand power.
- YouTube – Are you a charity looking to teach better habits? YouTube is where teens turn to learn something through video – 80% of teens say that the platform has helped them become more knowledgeable.
- Snapchat – Highly visual social media consumers, Gen Z users like this platform for its ability to mix VR with reality. Charities looking to tap into creative teens and experiment with VR should consider engaging with audiences here.
- Discord – Mainly aimed at gamers, charities looking for a niche audience can use this platform to create small groups. Other niche platforms have been featured by Charity Digital news, including Mumsnet, Quora, Care2 and Meetup.
- Twitch – Also a gaming platform, charities have ventured here for digital fundraising gaming tournaments. War Child UK’s ‘Gaming For Good’ initiative has won £700,000 as a result of its digital gaming and fundraising campaign.
Crafting the right content
Gen Z members appreciate authenticity. Mobile phone natives, this generation is also looking for engagement. Charity digital fundraising strategies and messaging should look to convey a message of truthfulness and transparency. BBC’s Children In Need focuses on sharing experiences in real-time, and its dedicated Instagram channel includes those in need and campaign achievements. Social media engagement is crucial – for advice on varying content, Charity Digital News has some tips here.
No cash, please
Charity leaders don’t need to get Gen Z to open their wallets – tethered to their mobile phones, Gen Z has contributed to mobile crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising. Importantly for charities looking to scale up, the back-end payment system is important. The NSPCC revamped its payment system this year in a bid to strengthen its online payment system and recurring payments.
“The way people manage their money has changed dramatically in the last few years: they are used to doing so on their smartphones and want to be able to donate to charity using the same device,” said Nicola Longfield, Senior Director & Head of Charity for PayPal of the upgrade.
Near the end of its Movember campaign, Prostate UK has also revamped its digital payment options, allowing for donations to be made from Google Pay, Apple Pay and PayPal.