Your charity fundraising initiatives are incomplete without considering the growing influence and opportunity afforded by millennials, both today and into the near future. Millennials are defined as individuals born after 1980 who came of age in the early 2000s, and contrary to popular belief, this younger generation is positively increasing the charity donation scale and sharing their wealth.
Today, there are two primary contributions millennials make: The first is by impulse, for example checking out at a grocery store counter and being asked to donate a dollar to a cause. The second is by focusing on domestic and local issues. The big question is how do you engage millennials to donate to your nonprofit now and for years to come?
- Focus on your cause instead of your organization. Millennials tend to care more about specific causes than organizations’ defined brands. If your organization raises funds for children, focus on that service when communicating with the younger generation, not only the details about your organization.
- Be flexible with your opportunities to contribute. Encourage millennials to donate and volunteer on their own terms. You don’t need to eliminate your entire established framework for accepting volunteers and donations, but loosen the reins a little. Millennials respond better to flexibility than they do to forcibility.
- Maintain an active and engaging social media presence. Millennials tweet, post and snap their entire lives. Increase your social media clout, and your millennial supporters will be more likely to share information regarding your good work with their social networks. Highly engaged millennials can be marketing machines for your fundraising ideas!
- Encourage volunteering. This may be the best way to attract millennials and hold onto them for the long term. Millennials often prefer getting involved to simply donating money – so accept the donation of their time! This may be the most effective way to reel in their support for the next 10, 20, 30 years.
- Millennials are impulsive buyers and donors. They donate quickly when they feel inspired or when they gravitate toward a cause. Try and vamp up your inspiration, by posting pictures and videos of the work you do – make it motivational and inspirational to potential donors and volunteers.
- Stay in touch. This goes for all donors, but especially for the younger generations. Millennials want you to remain in contact with them, and that means more than once a year. Think about a monthly e-newsletter that keeps supporters informed and up to date on all the work your organization has been doing.
As millennials grow their influence and financial security, it’s critical charity fundraisers invest the time to develop and implement strategies to engage them for the long term. With a little extra work and some social media, you can tap into this blooming generation. Be creative, be innovative, and last but not least, be focused!