In this and the upcoming posts I will give some recommendations on concrete next steps that non-profit organizations could take in order to set up an online community targeted for the relatively young (18-30 years old) generation. Also, I will give some suggestions for further research.
Remember that guy on the street I gave €50 euros to and tell him to donate it to the charity organization of his choice? (see page “about this blog”) This guy, representing the young generation, is bombarded with constant images and messages of charity organizations asking for support.
This generation might want to do good and support (financial and/or non-financial), but it is clear that they want/expect an experience. They want something in return, more than just a warm feeling. They want to feel that they contributed to a better world and see the actual effect of their donated money. And most importantly – they want to share their contributions with others. “Look at me, I donated, I am a good person”.
I am convinced that (non-profit) organizations can engage this generation and turn them into loyal brand supporters as long as they give them the experience they are looking for, as longs as they invest in building meaningful relationships with this generation, based on trust. Why: because donating and supporting a charity organization is all about trust. I think that trust has become even more important in this competitive ‘giving environment’ and the quite sceptical attitude that some people have about non-profits.
I believe organizations should try to answer the following question: What is your brand personality among young people? This generation is often online: highly active on social media platforms and online communities. If you want to reach and engage them with success you need to give them an online experience. An online community is a great way to reach young people and donate them an experience in return. You can give them a voice, listen to their conversations and inspire them. Once executed well, engagement and meaningful relationships will be the main spin-offs. Non-profits think they have a problem: “it is a charity community, it is not amusing”. Remove this idea from your head. Forget about being charitable, you are creating a community, study your audience, and give them what they care about. Give them enjoyment and inspiration. It is not charity; it is an activity that is important for you ánd them. It is fun!
Until next time,