You Say, We Say: Language to communicate better

A three-pager demonstrating how charities can align their language better with prospective young donors.

In April 2021, Beacon and Savanta published research into the attitudes wealthy millennials have to charitable giving. During the research, a critical finding showed that language used by charities and that used by our young participants meant different things.

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A key example was ‘impact’. While charities and young people both use the term, they typically mean something different from one another when they use it. For charities, ‘impact’ means the long-term difference made by their operations, but our participants use the same word to refer to the specific improvements caused by their actions.

The meanings of these commonly used words are often formed by work and family environments. These wealthy young givers are generous but time poor; when we fail to properly engage them by using language that either does not mean anything to them or means something different, we miss out on harnessing this generosity. 

Our You Say, We Say guidance offers a starting point for charities to change the way they engage based on language usage discovered in our #YoungGivers research.

Charities should use these new insights to create communications strategies to support wealthy young people to become major donors by creating trusted relationships that endure.