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Miriam

Thanks Beth. I'll try to answer your questions but of course each question is an entire discussion in itself, so I'll just try to get the discussion started!

1) As we say where I work, "offer to audience" not "audience to offer." I.e. don’t try to jam the people you are talking to into YOUR preferred method of communication, tailor your message to your different audiences. If your organization wants to talk to donors like me, then go where we are and talk the way we talk. Don't send me direct mail and then act surprised when you don't hear back from me. I would even forget about email-if it's not from someone I know, I don't read it. Does your ad pop-up on my Facebook page? Am I getting emails and notes from all my friends about your cool YouTube video? Are you one of Oprah's favorite things (j/k folks). Yes, Gen Yers expect that you took some time to get to know us before you started asking us for money. And yes, we know when you didn't take the time. And let me just throw this out there-mobile web.

2) I hope this is not a surprise to anyone, but what really gets my attention is when my friends and networks get excited about something. I remember when it seemed all of my friends suddenly started adding "Causes" to their profiles on Facebook. And then before you knew it, (lil)Green Patch requests filled my inbox. If my friends are all talking about you, I will be talking about you.

But how do you get my friends talking about you? First and foremost, be genuine. Be clear-what's your mission, why do you matter? Make it easy for me to find you online, in fact, it would be better if you found me. Make it easy for me to give to you? I still don't understand why so many organizations don't have PayPal as a payment option. Keep me in the loop-how is my money being used? Let me know how else I can help. Don't just treat me as a wallet, make me feel engaged and valued.

3) I think my last thoughts above kind of answered question 3. I am inspired all the time to get engaged-and very often it's when I hear the story of how a few people can make a large difference. I think with all the problems in the world it can be so easy to get overwhelmed, to become paralyzed by the gravity of all the issues that need our help and attention. But when I hear of how just a few people are making a difference, I am completely inspired to get involved.

This past weekend, I met the founder of KarmaKrew.org-an organization that encourages yoga practitioners to also give back to the community. It is amazing what these people have done and they are not a huge organization-by providing small volunteering opportunities that let their people feel they CAN help.

4) Here is an example of what turns me off: I gave to an organization 2 years ago online. Since then, I have received an email from them 3-4 times a week. I have not opened an email since, and they keep emailing me. Even if I had a good reason, I probably would not give to them again because they made me feel like they don't "know me," if they did, they would have stopped sending me emails oh say, 12 months ago? Personalization. That's what Gen Y is all about. Make us feel like you recognize we are a unique individual, or at least you've managed to get us into a small group of people with like interests, and we'll appreciate the effort.

P.S. When I attended the ePhilanthropy's Nonprofit Social Networking Symposium this weekend there was a fascinating presentation on "sneezers"-turning your donors into infectious fundraisers who recruit their friends and families. My next post on my blog is about applying this to Gen Y. If any generation has shown the power of "viral" fundraising, it's Gen Y.

TonishaG

Thanks Beth, and Miriam for bringing this up. Very good information to keep in mind! I'm not too far removed from you, so I truly understand...and is exactly what I want to bring to my organization

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