Special guest Katie Gaston, the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Bloomerang.com, leads a dynamic discussion focused on generational giving and engaging with younger donors.
Katie begins by emphasizing the importance of understanding who your donors are and how to create a more personalized and contextual communication strategy. She discusses the rise of contactless payments and the need for nonprofits to integrate tools like tap-to-pay and QR codes to cater to the preferences of younger donors who are accustomed to digital transactions. Katie stated, “In fact, in Bloomerang, we actually have tools to support the process of surveying and asking for feedback.”
Katie continues by highlighting the significance of mobile-friendly and digital communication. With over 50% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, nonprofits need to ensure that their websites and donation processes are optimized for mobile users. She points out text-to-donate options and other mobile-friendly tools to make giving more convenient.
In terms of engaging younger donors, Katie suggested expanding fundraising strategies beyond traditional galas and considering activities like fun runs, farmers markets, and peer-to-peer fundraising. These lower-barrier entry events not only raise money but also increase awareness of the organization, which can lead to future support. As Katie put it, “Sometimes just having people show up and a larger audience because that barrier to entry is lower is really meaningful, because if more people know about your organization, even if they’re not ready to give now, they may give to you in the future.”
As for future trends, Katie elaborates on the potential role of AI, automation, and ChatGPT in helping nonprofits establish more human-like relationships with donors at scale. She advises nonprofits to first build a strong and sustainable communication strategy and then be prepared to leverage new tools as they become available to enhance donor engagement.