On any given day, Australian non-profits blanket the streets and parks of capital cities to solicit regular gifts from passersby. I never get stopped by those soliciting for health, environmental, international aid, and other types of charities. Does age define who gets solicited by nonprofit street canvassers or face to face fundraisers?
Street canvassers are typically very young adults, approximately 18-25 years old. Dressed in t-shirts branded with the charity name, they often struggle to get people to stop to have a conversation with them. Some people do anything they can to not engage with the canvassers. I try to have eye contact with the canvassers and do everything possible to see if they will engage with me. Instead, the canvassers look down and wait for their next prospect!
Is it my age? At 55 years old, have I “aged out” of the target audience for canvassers’ interest?
People aged from 40-65 years old likely have stable income to offer Australian non-profit organisations. Yet, I see the street canvassers stop people in their own age bracket and let those 40-65 pass them. I suspect those in their own age bracket have far less disposable income and, perhaps, less capability and likelihood to give a donation on a credit card on a monthly basis. If the young passersby are likely to stop, have a conversation with their peer, and agree to a monthly donation, they may have buyer’s remorse and cancel the donation at a higher rate than older adults with a more stable financial background.
Are street canvassers more comfortable talking to people there own age? Do they have a higher success rate signing on people their own age than someone older? Is the retention rate the same for both age groups?
Have any fundraising firms or nonprofit organisations studied this matter? Do you have thoughts about target audiences for street canvassing?