Who are Gen Z and why should we be talking to them?

By Róisín McGovern, Digital Fundraising Coach

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities across the globe, and for younger generations, it will be a defining moment in their lives. The past year has not only changed their day-to-day lives but changed the way they see the world and their role within it. 

Gen Z, which refers to people born from 1997 onwards, are the most racially and culturally diverse generation ever. They are also digital natives, growing up alongside the rise in social media and digital technologies.

What else do we know about Gen Z? Young, tech-savvy and socially conscious, they are ready to connect with, and campaign for causes they care about – make sure it’s yours! 

In 2021, the oldest members of Gen Z will be turning 24… a prime age to become donors. Younger donors are extremely generous, donating not just their money but their time and voices. These global citizens are keen activists, ready to post, click and share social media content to back social justice movements, charities, and fundraising campaigns. 


How can you reach Gen Z online? 


Be transparent

Younger audiences value honesty so be upfront in your communications and share your challenges. With accountability comes trust.


Establish a personality

Build a distinct tone across your digital channels, one that is relatable and genuine. Share ‘behind-the-scenes’ content and voices from the frontlines of your work. Gen Z wants to hear from real people.


Be social

They don’t remember life before the internet so stay up-to-date with digital trends. Test out social tools like Instagram reels, Facebook fundraisers and fleets and make sure you are posting regular content to all your social media channels. Think about what topics younger audiences might be interested in and engage with trending hashtags to make sure your content is seen.


Leverage influencers

Gen Z listen to online voices so try and engage with social media influencers who can help amplify yours! Collaborate with influencers who are aligned with your brand and mission, and will appeal to a younger audience. Think about authors, poets, singers, campaigners, brand owners… diversity is key.


Build a community

Online communities are vital for Gen Z as they are looking to engage and connect with like-minded individuals. Open up a dialogue with your social media followers by asking questions in your captions and using Instagram quizzes and polls, plus create Facebook groups to help build your tribe online.


Younger individuals want to feel like they are playing an active role in driving social change and building a brighter future for themselves and others. Let them know that by supporting your cause, and joining your community, they can do just that!