There is no such thing as the “general public” in nonprofit communications, and especially in fundraising. From the core of your message to how you deliver it, your communications need to target specific people or at least specific groups of people. But if developing a targeted communications plan is a new concept for you, knowing where to start can be daunting.

Philanthropy Journal has just published a special report on fundraising that will push you in the right direction. Generalizations will only take you so far, but if you are lost, this report will definitely help you find a clear path.

Here are a few points from the report, based on the age of donors:

  • Members of the generation born before World War II are civic-minded, see philanthropy as an obligation, and find an organization’s leadership to be important.
  • Baby Boomers may not be major donors to begin with, but they want to to be courted personally and treated like they are. They also are not loyal, so retaining them as donors can be tough.
  • “Generation X,” or people born from 1965 to 1980, prefer to donate to organizations that they’ve had operational experience with, so getting them involved in other ways is important. They also don’t have as much disposable income as other groups, because they are the group most likely to have school-aged children at home.
  • Generation Y, or people born between 1980 and 1996, are, like the pre-World War II generation, civic-minded and want to change the world. They are also the most tech-savvy group, so cultivating online champions who can advocate on your behalf via blogs, social networking sites, etc. is key.