Born between 1965 and 1979, the Generation X tends to be quite careful and cynical when it comes to viewing leaders, ideas and new ventures. This generation really does focus on competence and outcome. The Generation X tends to not be as optimistic as other generations.
Thus, for this generation, you should make sure that all your ideas are reasonable and well attainable. 501c3 nonprofit organizations which focus on ideas with proven results will have much better outcome with this generation. For instance, homeless shelters, animal shelters, ministries, youth programs and similar programs which have shown results for decades should do well with this generation.
The Generation X is not impressed with big titles and big ideas. Your organization will do well with this generation if you can show a history of good long term results and future projections that will show more of the same.
The Generation X people believe in self-reliance, entrepreneurship and their intuition. Due to this focus, if your organization provides services and activities to assist individuals in getting back on their feet, your organization may be viewed very positive in the eyes of the Generation X.
Uplifting 501c3 services and activities that may be attractive to the Generation X include the following: mentorship, educational programs, domestic violence centers, orphanage support, veteran and soldier support.
Work and life balance is important for the Generation X. You will not impress this generation with working long hours and having no social life. You will impress this generation by showing a good work ethic, efficiency at getting task done, and leaving time for life outside of work.
Patience is important. The Generation X is reluctant to commit and will not commit if they feel undue pressure. Push too hard and the Generation X will not provide funding for your 501c3 or volunteer for your cause. Patience may mean reaching out to an individual through a friendly postcard or email on a monthly basis; and not sending a generic email several times a week seeking funding, etc.
Keep good financial statements for the Generation X. This generation wants to know that the money is protected, being used as expected, and not subject to corruption. Do not tell the potential funders that you are not filing tax returns and that you keep your numbers hand-written on a sheet of paper. That will never work with the Generation X.
Generation X, technology and your 501c3. The internet and the advanced technology of today was not around when the Generation X was born. However, the Generation X is responsible for the invention of much of this technology and the Generation has adapted this technology throughout their life to become more efficient. Thus, your nonprofit must use technology to communicate with and market to this generation.
Things your 501c3 can do to effectively reach out to the Generation X:
- Show a history of success and positive results.
- Come up with a different way of doing things
- Work hard and leave time for fun
- Share the results of team work within your organization
- Use technology that works well for your 501c3 and your audience.