If I had a nickel for every time someone told me, “Our people are older so they don’t use the internet/email/social media”…
I go to a lot of conferences every year and I hear it multiple times a day. So, let me set the record straight.
OLDER PEOPLE USE THE INTERNET.
OLDER PEOPLE USE EMAIL.
OLDER PEOPLE USE SOCIAL MEDIA.
There is so much data that demonstrates this and it really does kill a little bit of my soul that so many nonprofit administrators still think the contrary.
Those 60 and older — a group increasingly populated by aging Baby Boomers — now spend more than half of their daily leisure time…Screen time has increased for those in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, and the rise is apparent across genders and education levels.
This rise in screen time coincides with significant growth in the adoption of digital technology by older Americans. In 2000, 14% of those ages 65 and older were internet users; now 73% are. And while smartphone ownership was uncommon at all ages around the turn of the 21st century, now about half (53%) of people 65 and older are smartphone owners.
You can use the Google machine and find lots more data like this.
You know what I think? I think nonprofits use this erroneous assumption that “our people” don’t use the internet, social media, or email as an excuse not to spend time and energy (and perhaps money) creating a great digital presence because it differs from what we have always done. (Those of you who read my posts frequently know just how much I love it when nonprofits use that as an excuse.)
When thinking about channels in a communications campaigns (whether marketing or fundraising), each one reinforces the other. By the time someone makes a donation or buys a ticket, they will have seen multiple messages from you, all which make the case for support. Just because someone donates with a check after receiving an appeal letter, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t read your emails and seen your social media posts. (Sorry, development folks, that appeal letter doesn’t exist in a vaccuum.)
Let’s stop making excuses and get to work.