Use Demographics to get Closer to YES!

Whether your audience is one or 100,000, understanding them on a core level will help you get closer to yes in any situation. Although the following breakdown of our recent generations are a generalization, you can begin to see the similarities and differences between the ages, and who raised whom .

Traditionalists – Ages 63-86 have long been referred to as Veterans, Silent, Moral Authority, Radio Babies and The Forgotten Generation.

Notable Contemporaries
Martin Luther King, Jr., George Carlin, Audrey Hepburn, William Shatner

Behavioral Attitudes
Technology is – the Hoover Dam but many have adapted.
View of Authority – very respectful to all.
Communications Media – rotary phones, one-on-one interactions, memos or handwritten notes.
Communications Style – discrete, logical, prefers more formal language, slow to warm up, likes handwritten notes, less email.
Feedback and Rewards – no news is good news, want subtle private recognition, not a big fan of fanfare.
Motivated by – respect, security, and the personal touch.
Money is – and was all about their family and livelihood.
Fundraising Tips – conservative planned-giving with financial management, one on one meetings to ask their advice, they will respond better to traditional solicitation strategies like personal letters and face to face meetings.

Baby Boomers – Ages 44-62 are also referred to as: “Me” Generation or Moral Authority .

Notable Contemporaries
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Oprah, George Clooney, and Bill Clinton

Behavioral Attitudes
Technology is – and was the microwave and the fax machine, but they acquire and embrace new technology.
View of Authority – impressed by those of power, celebrities and millionaires.
Communications Media – began with the touch-tone phone and portable bag phone they were also the first to adopt the call me anytime mentality.
Communications Style – diplomatic, face-to-face, or on the phone. They speak open with a direct style, they use e-communications, but like the personal touch, and prefer a friendly rapport.
Feedback and Rewards –money in their reward, will often display all awards,     certificates and letters of appreciation for public view, they like praise, title and public recognition.
Motivated by – being valued, and earning money.
Money is – the biggest status symbol.
Fundraising Tips – Put them out front and in the spotlight, appeal to their idealism, get them involved, allow them to find self-fulfillment.

Generation X – Ages 28-43 are also referred to as: Gen X, Xers, The Doer, Post Boomers, 13th Generation.

Notable Contemporaries
Tom Cruise, Sheryl Crow, Barak Obama, Jennifer Lopez

Behavioral Attitudes:
Technology is – anything you can hold in your hand, cell, PDA, tablet.
View of Authority – unimpressed, period.
Communications Media – smart phones, call me only at work, email.
Communications Style – blunt, direct, immediate, they use straight talk and email as their number one tool, they talk in short sound-bytes, and hate micro-managing.
Feedback and Rewards – Get them involved, encourage creativity, allow flexibility, be more hands off, ask for their input and use their peers as testimonials.
Motivated by – freedom, removal of rules and time off.
Money is – a means to an end.
Fundraising Tips – Use humor in appeals, use new technologies, engage quickly (often with humor) let them see how they can make a difference, messages can be delivered by technology but need to be short and to the point.

Millennials – Ages 8-27 are also referred to as Generation Y, Gen Y, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Chief Friendship Officers or 24/7’ers.

Notable Contemporaries
Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Prince William, Bruno Mars

Behavioral Attitudes:
Technology is – integral, ethereal and intangible.
View of Authority – relaxed.
Communications Media – internet, smart phones, e-mail, the latest app.
Communications Style – be polite, don’t talk down-they will resent it, use language to portray visual pictures, be humorous-show you are human, communicate in person if the message is very important.
Feedback and Rewards – meaningful work, like to be given feedback often, want recognition for their heroes, bosses, grandparents, they want a valuable experience for all.
Motivated by – working with other bright people in groups, time off.
Money is – today’s payoff, they are work-to-live generation.

Fundraising Tips – have them drive technology for fundraising (no appeal letters), utilize their networks with crowdfunding, ask them plan events that interest them, act fast on their interest or you will lose them, link your cause to social responsibility because “Mid Century Modern” is cool again.

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