Baby Boomers & Older Adults Are Adopting Social Media Tools in Greater Numbers, Has Your Nonprofit Noticed?

By on Monday, September 6, 2010

Have you considered using Facebook,YouTube, LinkedIn or Twitter to reach older adults as volunteers or donors for your nonprofit organization? Nonprofit managers used to dismiss using these technologies to reach out to baby boomers and adults over age 65 in favor of direct mail or other techniques. Many even pooh-poohed the idea of using social media to reach older audiences, and insisted that only younger donors and volunteers could be found using social media technologies.

There is strong evidence that baby boomers donate online, with 52% giving online. Nonprofit workers need to heed a new report and seriously consider how social media technologies can be utilized to reach both the baby boomers and adults over age 65. A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project points to increasing adoption of social media by older adults, even outpacing younger people in their growing adoption of these technology tools.

The report found that between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%–from 25% to 47%.

During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older doubled- going from 13% to 26%. By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by only 13% – from 76% to 86%.

So if you want to use social media tools to reach older adults – where do you turn for help and advice? There are many resources available to help nonprofits use social media effectively. You’ll also want to check out a great blog post by Beth Kanter about reaching baby boomers with social media tools and a  post on Frogloop by Allyson Kapin about reaching baby boomers as part of online fundraising campaigns.

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