The AARP recently conducted a poll on the Internet usage of Americans in the age groups 50–64 and 65 and older. The findings show that the boomer population is turning to the Internet for information and to stay connected.
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents in the 50–64 range said that they used a computer at home. Fifty-three percent of respondents in this age group said they bought products online, and 68 percent researched topics of interest online. Sixty-four percent used the Internet to send and receive emails and instant messages.
These findings are particularly significant with JVA Consulting recently opening the application period for Year 3 of the Colorado Compassion Initiative (CCI). If you haven’t heard about it yet, CCI is a capacity building program for faith-based and community organizations that provide services to people age 55 and older and involve this population as leaders and volunteers. In the coming months, JVA will award $200,000 in grants and provide pro-bono technical assistance to organizations throughout Colorado as part of CCI.
The organizations that will be selected as CCI grantees will demonstrate a commitment to the boomer population. According to AARP’s findings, online outreach should be part of the strategy to engage this population. The results of the poll show that boomers are embracing the Internet as a tool not only to learn, but to connect with other people. Other more traditional strategies still have their place in the outreach mix, but by neglecting the online element, organizations will miss out on an opportunity to connect with and engage this treasured part of our community.
Is your Colorado organization a faith-based or community organization that provides services to boomers or involves them as leaders and volunteers? You may be eligible to apply for CCI funding. Click here to find out. Be sure to register for a free, mandatory pre-application workshop.