In June 2015, the United States Census Bureau™ announced that Millennials had overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S.; their population currently estimated at a staggering 83.1 million. Worth $600 billion in annual spending power 1, Millennials have more than 1.6 million registered nonprofit organizations representing causes they may choose to support (and the ability to access those nonprofits in the palm of their hands).

Why the Emphasis on Millennials?

Of the defining characteristics that have been documented to describe Millennials, their digital predilection and socially-conscious mindset are two of the most significant. Interestingly enough, it is widely believed that the Millennials’ digital tendencies and virtually instantaneous access to global breaking news have directly led to their awareness of and subsequent desire to support social causes.

Having witnessed the most contested economic and social changes in recent history, as well as both man-made and natural events of a catastrophic nature, Millennials feel deeply connected to the world around them and driven to make positive changes. In fact, 61% of Millennials surveyed stated that they were worried about the state of the world and felt personally responsible to make a difference.2

And they are. According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, 87% of Millennial survey respondents donated to an organization in the last year and 28% of those gave between $100 and $500. Are Millennials donating to you?

Creating a Connection with Millennial Donors that Lasts

Take a look at the following tips to gain inspiration on how your organization can create a lasting connection with Millennial donors.

1. Tell a powerful story
Your website is one of the essential tools to leverage in your quest to connect with Millennials. Content must be fresh and dynamic to catch and keep the attention of this audience. While imagery and storytelling create an emotional connection, videos show your mission in action. Don’t forget the social share buttons with each post — Millennials are über connected and will share content they deem valuable with friends, family, and colleagues. And one final point we would be remiss not to share: ensure your site is designed responsively for optimum display in all viewing environments.

2. Clearly, state how their contribution makes an impact
Quickly establish the bottom line on how donor contributions positively impact your cause. Openly share quantitative figures on how dollars equate to results (for example, the number of families supported, meals served, veterans cared for, or animals rescued).

3. Ask for their help volunteering
77% of Millennials said they were more likely to volunteer when they could use their specific skills or expertise to benefit a cause.3 When asking for help, provide Millennials with a choice of ways they can support your organization — this should include an open invitation that allows them to identify how they can best apply their skills toward impacting the mission of your organization.

4. Make donating easy (as often, it is done on an impulse)
Establish online fundraising whether via crowdfunding, a third-party platform, or on your existing site; the Millennial predilection to all things digital creates a natural alignment between them and online fundraising. If on your own site, place your “Donate” buttons front-and-center and avoid unnecessary click-throughs to pages where visitors cannot make a donation. Additionally, offer a monthly giving option so that donors can easily establish regular donations.

5. Stay engaged with donors beyond the initial thank you
As essential as the initial thank you is for donor recognition, it is only the first step in building a relationship with new Millennial donors. Utilize all available channels to execute a drip campaign that highlights the good work of your organization and then based on engagement and responses, refine your campaign focus to the individual donor’s preferred channel. Social media will play a key role in your engagement strategies. Write posts and share content that is authentic and genuine and creates a clear path for readers to participate in the conversation.

The bottom line in connecting with Millennial donors is involving them in the mission of your organization. Interested in learning more about engaging and retaining Millennial donors? Contact us today!

1Accenture, Who are the Millennial Shoppers?, 2014
2 Cone, Millennial Cause Study, 2012
3 Achieve, Millennial Impact Report, 2014

Eileen Blake

Eileen Blake

For more than two years, Eileen has worked for AlumniFinder as a Marketing Manager sharing solutions for prospect research, fundraising and more. Eileen has a Bachelors in Mass Communication from the University of South Florida. In her free time, she is active in Rotary International.