Safe, heated home. Soft, cozy bed.
Cupboard full of food and books waiting to be read.
Kind, thoughtful friends. Cute, furry cats.
Strong, healthy body and warm, wooly hats.
These are a few of my favorite things.
…and the things I am most thankful for. I am also thankful to not know what it is to go without. Many in the world, and in West Michigan, go without everyday. Itty bitty babies to young adults to parents to senior citizens. All around us people go without enough food, housing, clothing, education, friendship and more.
And that’s why I give. I give my time, my energy and my money. Giving was instilled in me early on by my family, and the commitment hasn’t waivered, only grown stronger. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are 1.5 million non-profits in the United States today, which makes it hard to choose one. While I volunteer with a few non-profits, Greater Ottawa County United Way (GOCUW) is my main focus. Having served the organization for more than 10 years, my dedication is based on the tangible difference I see GOCUW make in the community. They bring the change-makers of the area together and help facilitate the steps or processes needed to make life better for residents. The organization can account for every dollar it spends with, and gives to, other partner non-profits in the area.
As generations age, donors and volunteers change and evolve, as do the reasons they give and how they do it. Newer donors face financial difficulties past generations didn’t necessarily have (student loans, high cost housing), and because of this, tend to be a bit more critical.
“They want [organizations] to prove they’re walking the walk. Demonstrate that your programs are working, tell them your new and improved perspectives and utilize innovation to get through to them.” (Nonprofithub.org). In short, it’s about communication, transparency, effectiveness and innovation.
Here are three ways we recommend to engage newer generations of donors:
432 million smartphones were sold in 2016, which means people are accessing the internet, and your website, on more than just computers. An organization’s website needs to be responsive for all devices so potential donors can access it anywhere, anytime.
Along with having a responsive website, the information posted better be the latest. Outdated information makes an organization look outdated and potential donors will quickly go elsewhere.
Get out there, be relevant and be authentic. Information is shared across a multitude of platforms. Find 2-3 that work best for the organization and your audiences. Create an editorial calendar of stories, gather the content and start sharing!
Need help engaging your donors? Feel free to stop by our office for coffee and conversation. We might even have warm cookies in the kitchen.