Warning Sign: A Post-Trump Digital Divide Between Nonprofits?
One of the organizations I work with received a five figure gift online this year. So please excuse the intentional double negative in the title of this post. It’s probably the opposite of what you think. And while I wouldn’t recommend counting on this, I wouldn’t count against it either.
Why? Aside from the fact that 67% of Americans 18+ use the internet or email on a daily basis (86% between ages 18 – 29), a recent report on older adults and internet use from
§ Most online seniors (70%) make internet use a daily fixture in their lives.
§ Seven in ten seniors own a cell phone, up from 57% two years ago.
§ One in three online seniors uses social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn; 18% do so on a typical day.
§ 86% of age 65+ use email; 48% do so daily.
It should be noted that the “G.I. Generation” (adults who are currently age 76 and older) have not adopted internet and cell phone use as much as the 65 – 75 demographic, but use is growing.
We never know where our next gift may come from. Many Facebook millionaires are under the age of 29. Do we think they’re going to read our snail mail?
Whenever I talk to boards about fundraising, I always make this point: Don’t say ‘No’ for people. Folks are plenty capable of saying ‘no’ on their own. Too often we say ‘no’ for seniors because we think they’re online only to talk to their grandkids. We say ‘no’ for tech millionaires because we think they’re too busy and/or self-centered.
What a judgmental bunch we are! We come up with a host of rationalizations to justify not doing the work.
It simply makes sense to be where everyone is. We now know that members of every demographic, including the folks we tend to think of as more mature and philanthropically-inclined, are online.
Let’s meet folks where they are.