Millennials are the future of your nonprofit. As the largest living generation by population size with 79.8 million people in the U.S., Millennials are a diverse group of people who generally support social causes.

By understanding this generation’s unique blend of aspirations, backgrounds, and interests, you can create relevant messaging and social media engagements that result in increased support for your mission.

Millennials, age 20-36, currently make up 30% of the adult population in the U.S. with more than $200 billion in collective annual spend. The estimated lifetime spend of this group is estimated to be more than $100 trillion.

The time to begin engaging Millennials is now to garner lifetime supporters. Here are some of the keys to garnering Millennial donors:

1. Socially Conscious
As the most ethnically and racially diverse population, Millennials embrace differences. They are focused on the environment and sustainability, preferring organic and locally-sourced products. This population is open-minded on social issues such as same-sex marriage. They are likely to volunteer and be philanthropic in nature.
Action Item: Be sure your non-profit is focusing on the mission, not the organization in your messaging!

2. Brand Loyal
Millennials see brands as an extension of themselves, looking to friends and family for feedback on social media prior to making purchases. Quality and value drive their purchase decisions. Brands that share their social consciousness with well-communicated charitable missions have become the favorites of Millennials.

Action Item: Keep your Millennial donors engaged and encourage them to share with their family and friends.

3. Tech Connected
As true digital natives, this age group has been shaped by the ability to connect quickly and easily. They are heavy users of wireless devices and have become early adopters of new technology and applications. Millennials rely on technology to create social connections, checking their smartphones an average of 43 times a day. They see a clear link between branding and mobile, dismissing organizations that do not have a mobile presence.

Action Item: Have online donation tools prevalently placed. Ensure emails and websites are mobile responsive.

4. Socially Driven
Millennials are heavily influenced by peer and social networks. They seek online content and actively share what they like. They turn to social reviews when making decisions more than any other age group. Your organization can take advantage of social media’s quick ability to engage this group and keep the conversation going.

Action Item: Invite your Millennial donors to participate in two-way conversations. Utilize social share buttons and make sure you’ve developed meaningful content, not just promotions.

5. Adventure Craving
As the group most likely to travel and study abroad, Millennials value experiences more than physical possessions. They crave exotic flavors, cuisines and cultures. Mission and volunteer work rank highly as desired experiences of this age group.

Action Item: Portray action, excitement and togetherness in your organization’s communications to Millennials. Highlight your unique opportunities to volunteer and participate in special events.

For all of these keys to engaging Millennial donors, remember that it’s important to reach this population where they are. Engage in multi-channel marketing and fundraising to capture the attention of prospective Millennial donors.

In general, Millennials want to lend their knowledge and experience as well as their time to support valued causes. By understanding these five key mindsets, your organization will be much more effective in garnering support and donations from Millennials.

Gabrielle Perham

Gabrielle Perham

Gabrielle is the Director of Marketing for AccuData Integrated Marketing, AlumniFinder’s parent organization. She joined the organization in 2017 and brings more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit marketing and development, branding, communications, and digital marketing. She earned a B.S. in Marketing and an M.B.A in Marketing Management from the University of Tampa. Go Spartans!