As a millennial giver myself, I can say one thing with certainty: Millennials are changing the charitable giving landscape. You’ve heard the refrain, again and again, 20-somethings are responsible for the end of everything from homeownership to golf. What aren’t we getting rid of? Charitable giving. So how can nonprofits turn millennials into lifetime givers?
1. Show us where our money’s going
While we may not be able to give large amounts of money all at once, every cent matters. Most of us are adjusting to our new careers and new cash flow, so it’s important to show us that our money is going towards a good cause. According to the Case Foundation’s 2011 Millennial Impact Report, millennials are “very likely” to stop supporting a charity if they don’t know what their donation is doing. Update your supporters on new projects, where their donations went, and ways to help. Millennials look to be part of a network, so foster this sense of community and encourage recurring donations.
2. No mail, no checks: Reach us on our phones
Most people in their mid-20s, myself included, have never owned a checkbook. According to NPR, this trend isn’t changing anytime soon. As for mail? The only thing we’ve come to expect is unusable circulars and advertisements. A big part of why the charity landscape is shifting is because millennials have fundamentally changed how we are contacted and how we give. Gone are the days of mailers and mail-in checks — if it’s not on our phones, we won’t see it. When looking at charities to support, millennials look at social media and prioritize features like online payment platforms and mobile giving.
3. Encourage Loyalty
You may be wondering why it’s so important to attract this specific demographic of givers. And while I could write an entire novel on why bringing millennials into the fold is one of the best decisions a non-profit can make, I’d like to focus on the most intriguing of these reasons. Young people are FIERCELY loyal. Whether that loyalty is to Apple, avocado toast, their favorite craft beer, or that indie band that “they discovered” — once you get someone under 30 involved, you’ll be seeing a lifetime supporter. By taking the time to steward this demographic — whether through social media outreach, updates on your organization’s latest project, or events centered on the average giver (rather than an expensive gala,) you can expect a HUGE return.
You don’t need to overhaul your charity to attract millennials. By focusing on these key strategies, you can easily integrate a new generation into your nonprofit’s donor base!
Originally published at https://blog.harnessgiving.com on October 18, 2017.