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The generation gap is costing Australian charities millions


A recent survey conducted by Young Professionals for Charity Inc (YP4C) of Melbourne’s Gen X and Y leaders has found that 92% want to volunteer more time and donate more regularly to charity, but a lack of trust, convenience and targeted information is holding them back.

“Charities are struggling to communicate and relate effectively to a new generation of philanthropists,” says Ally Akbarzadeh, co-founder of YP4C.

“Our generation are often portrayed as selfish, but they’re actually cashed-up, savvy, and generous. Gen X and Y are starved for time and simply aren’t being targeted with information about the non-profit sector’s valuable and cost-effective work.”

When asked why they weren’t donating more regularly to charity, 34% of respondents said they were unsure of whether their donation would be spent on those who needed it, while 22% weren’t sure which charity they should donate to. A further 11% complained of a lack of convenient donation methods or time, while only 18% of respondents claimed a lack of money or interest.

The survey respondents, who had an average age of 27 and average salaries between $50,000 - $60,000 were on average prepared to donate over $200 per year. Worryingly, this suggests that Australian charities are losing up to $135 million in regular donations each year.**

“It’s not difficult for the non-profit sector to capture more of the youth dollar,” says Akbarzadeh. “Gen X and Y just need to be met on their own terms. An effective online presence, e-marketing strategies, complete transparency and looking at easier methods of registering new donors will go a long way to recouping some of this lost revenue.”

YP4C has adopted many of these strategies in marketing its own events, such as the annual Globall which this year will be on October 14 at Melbourne Museum.

“Our success is based largely on word of mouth and free internet marketing,” Mr Akbarzadeh says. “We use websites, multimedia teasers and email newsletters to get an honest message out, make it easy for people to spread the word for us, and are completely open about our work”.

YP4C also makes its marketing briefs and strategies available to other non-profit groups looking to target Gen X and Y more effectively.


* Online survey conducted in June 2006. 302 respondents.
** ABS data: in in 2001 there were 724,210 Australians aged 20 – 34 and earning more than $44,200 per annum. The calculated figure assumes that 92% of this demographic will donate an additional $203.58 per annum.


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