Video-Sharing and Baby Boomers: Why You Can’t Make Assumptions

j0422342.jpgThe Pew Internet and American Life Project –an initiative of the Pew Research Center–released a new survey yesterday demonstrating why we can’t make assumptions about who is doing what on the web.  To make these assumptions may mean missing key opportunities to engage new supporters. 

Many nonprofit execs make assumptions that it is the young volunteers, not the “mature” potential donors that they will reach on YouTube and through other web 2.0 technologies.  Okay, we all admit that we DO know that young business and social entrepreneurs exist (such as the two former hedge fund managers who started www.givewell.net at age 26) who value giving AND can afford to do so now.  But let’s face it, many fundraising professionals are focused on the baby boomers, who have established themselves in massive numbers and are worth billions of dollars.  It’s what Christina Cheddar Berk of CNBC calls “the golden age of philanthropy.”  We’ve read a lot of discussion about how to appeal to these potential donors: accountability, making them stakeholders, demonstrating real impact of their donations (demanding lot, aren’t they? LOL). 

 How do YOU engage the baby boomers?

If you aren’t already, better start thinking outside the box of traditional venues.  The Pew/Internet survey on Video-Sharing revealed that use of video-sharing (like YouTube) is up–48% of respondents said they had been to a video-sharing site; 15% had been “yesterday.”  But delving deeper into their data reveals some interesting facts. 

  • Of respondents age 50-64, 30% had visited video-sharing sites, up 58% from the previous year. 
  • Of households earning more than $75,000 per year, 60% indicated they had visited a video-sharing site—up 43%. 

For now, this may just be “a” visit but it is the beginning of a trend (remember a few years ago when few had broadband?)—and maybe the beginning of a relationship with you.  So when’s the last time your agency put something on YouTube?

  

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