In a few weeks we will be releasing the 2012 Millennial Impact report and unsurprisingly my generations love of Facebook and smartphones plays a big role in the report. While I can’t wait for nonprofits to take advantage of the research and suggestions in the report for connecting with Millennials, I must write a note of caution to all.
Technology is not just for us young’ins. Don’t believe me – maybe you will believe my dad.
My dad is in his early 60s, recently retired and has more free time than ever before. He also has more disposable income than ever before now that his two children are all grown up. As a result he is increasingly charitable to a variety of causes.
If my dad sounds like the kinda guy your nonprofit might like to get to know – there is something you should know before you pick up the phone and give him a call. He loves his iPad so much he got carpel-tunnel from using it.
My dad has always been tech savy. We had Macs way before they were cool. He could be an anomaly, but my less tech sophisticated mother also loves the iPad. Without trying to sound like an iPad sales person, that is exactly what makes the device so great. It’s techy enough for a pro like my dad, and simple enough for someone like my mom who just wants to easily browse news and keep connected with family.
So if you think having a highly visual and easily navigated website up-to-speed with the latest trends is only for Millennials, guess again. Professionals like my parents have been using the Internet for 2 decades now, just like me. They get it. My mom used to shop in the J.C. Penny Catalog. I haven’t seen one in years now that they have Amazon. Admittedly, my parents may have been a little slower on the mobile side, but they are catching up quick. And should I mention they have more money to spend to keep up with the latest gadgets than me?
The world is changing and if your nonprofit doesn’t want to lose my parents as your donors you better catch up. It might be time to cut that direct mail budget in half and invest more highly in technology tolls that bring donors to your cause. I can guarantee you J.C. Penny no longer still relies on that phone-book sized catalog. Maybe it’s too soon for some organizations to invest in a tablet specific strategy, but it is necessary and easy enough to make sure your website has a flexible design that looks great across all devices.
The Internet now makes it easier than ever to find new causes to support. If you can’t keep up with the changing times, people like my parents will find an organization that can.
A few resources to help you begin rethinking your online presence:
- 11 Nonprofit Websites that Look Great on iPads (Via Nonprofit Tech 2.0 blog)
- Adaptation ( Great introductory article to Responsive Web Design via Think & Do blog)
- Anatomy of a Donor Landing Page (Slideshow created by Achieve)
If you know of any nonprofits using tablet devices well please share in the comments!