Nonprofit organizations are reporting gradual increases in donations as consumers feel better about their personal economic situation. However, most charities are still falling short of the level of funds they were bringing in before the recession started. Analysts are advising nonprofits to change their strategy and marketing message in order to prod more consumers to give generously.

Ongoing research by Cygnus shows that the best charities are targeting donors by age group. The most effective strategy during the recession was to make a plea based on the weak economy. But analysts say that argument began to wear thin with donors after about 18 months. Currently, that strategy is working best with donors who are age 65 and older.

To reach consumers between the ages of 35 and 65, charities need a new approach. For this group, hearing about where a charity is spending money and that it is the “best of all organizations working on that mission” will encourage a generous donation.

When connecting with younger consumers, a charity’s most successful strategy will show how it is community building. Social media will therefore play a big role in emphasizing connectedness as it solicits funds. The social format is important for reaching young givers who do not read email or have landline phones. Younger consumers also indicate they are interested in supporting new causes.

This year, 80% of surveyed donors say they’ll give at least as much as they gave last year while 46% of younger folks expect to give more. In addition, many consumers stick to the giving budget they establish at the start of each year but at least 35% can be convinced to donate a little extra. Often, the extra giving is linked to ‘how well officials pitch the cause.’ In addition to making the pitch, charities should make sure that their website acts as both a marketing and research tool. With 80% of consumers investigating charities before they give and 62% of those looking at websites, the content on the site should speak to the good work the charity is doing.

Using this approach can increase donations, even from people have already formed their giving budget for the year.

To learn more about Hunger & Health Charity Supporters, checked out the Audience Interest & Intent Report on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.

[Source: Flandez, Raymund. Donors Say They Would Give More. Philanthropy.com. 21 Jun. 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012]