Memory failure: Why do donors not remember what we tell them?

Memory failure: Why do donors not remember what we tell them?

Guest Bloggers | 7 November 2019

With an increasing number of people hitting retirement age, Richard Radcliffe takes a look at how to get older generations engaged in giving and how not to miss out on this generous group of donors.

When I meet older supporters I often get really worried – they can have memory failure about most fundraising communications – including legacies.

And yet memory leads to the greatest engagement opportunity.

What are we getting wrong? And how can we get it right?

Lifestyles of older generations

Every time I meet supporters who have retired the result is the same: we are busier in retirement than when we worked. There is so much fun to enjoy.

There are also massive family concerns.

The concept of “massive baby boomer inheritance” is wrong. These are cautious philanthropic investors who plan their giving with loads of thought over many years.

But they are also the most generous sector.

I am the older generation!

As I age, I find myself replicating their behaviour.

And as I age, I find myself addicted to finding out more to understand the decision-making process and cerebral workings of older people.

How do they plan their finances and philanthropy? When and how do they plan their Wills? Who do they consult? What makes them support one charity versus another? Which channels do they use?

This triggered global research into “financial decision making” and communication preferences of older people.

Results of research

Having completed research (not all – but the key outcomes) I approached the Institute of Fundraising to present a seminar on how best to communicate with older generations ensuring that they recall communications and develop their engagement.

Memory recall not memory failure

The older generations are the most generous of all generations. What influences them to give MORE and then to give a gift in their Will?

What makes them remember YOUR communications and upgrade themselves and put YOUR charity in their Will.

Find the solution

On 10 January I will be presenting the outcomes and giving practical solutions which match the unique needs of older generations. As GDPR kicks in, how can we invest most effectively in current supporters to maximise their support?

This seminar is NOT a legacy focused seminar – it is a supporter communications seminar which includes how to maximise all methods of giving.

Join us. 

Richard Radcliffe FInstF Cert is presenting a session on Communicating with Older Generations on 10 January. Find out more here.  

Richard Radcliffe has 40 years’ experience in fundraising and 30 years in specialising in enhancing giving from older generations. He received the Lifetime Contribution to Fundraising Award from the Institute of Fundraising in 2018.


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