There are 4 broad generations in the US according to many measures.
- The Silent Generation
- Baby Boomers
- Millennial Generation
In this article, we focus on the Silent Generation, with the other three being discussed in articles over the next few weeks.
The Silent Generation. The average age of the silent generation is 71 and this generation tends to be well established individuals defined as hard workers, high achievers and key persons in society. These persons tend to believe in honor and duty. They also believe that the team is stronger than the individual parts. Certain nonprofits may fair very well with this generation. Veteran organizations, training programs, and educational organizations typically do very well with this generation.
The silent generation likes stability and was taught to play by the rules. They married in their early 20s, bought a house and worked a steady job. Thus, the silent generation will be more appropriate for the 501c3 organizations which offer a more traditional service or activity.
When creating the message for this generation:
Let them know the successes of your organization. Be as specific as possible – for instance, how many volunteers your training program had last year, how many fund raisers and how much money was raised.
Get recommendations and references from other silent generation leaders. This generation grew up at a time when one’s word could be relied upon. Thus, they rely on and respect the opinion of others.
Show the upmost respect and appreciation for their achievement and history.
Share your vision with these individuals as they are interested in long term plans and have less interest in hit and miss ideas. Be thorough and detailed in letting the individuals from this generation know the long term plan as well as the big steps that you are taking to get you there.
As the silent generation believes in the team, you must show the silent generation that your organization operates as a well functioning machine and not just one or two persons are in control.
You should especially look up to the silent generation as your organization grows from being a small local organization to a larger or more regional organization. The silent generation was instrumental in starting and building corporate America and is, thus, very familiar with laying organizational infrastructure, procedures and processes.