Attracting the Millennial Donor

After years of focusing on the baby boomer generation for giving, there may be some question as to how to go about soliciting from the millennial generation.  They are greater in number after all, and gain prominence in society with each passing year.

Attracting this new breed of supporters doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does require a few changes in strategy: understanding the younger audience for example.  Millennials understand technology, they are racially diverse, build connections through stories, and are not drawn to communications that appear to be selling something.  Younger audiences also like to be engaged and visually stimulated with things like animation.  Simple designs with typography and white space can go a long way, no need for expensive graphics.

Millennials also like to be recognized.  Consider giving incentives for supporters: T-shirts, a wrist band, key chains… etc.  Public thank you messages on social media spotlighting partners can be very effective as well.

Another key element in bringing in the younger crowd is to be transparent and authentic.  Watchdog groups like Charity Navigator and Guidestar can be extremely helpful with this.  Peer-to-peer fundraising and peer giving groups can also help to lend authenticity. 

Incorporating millennials throughout your organization can certainly increase their interest in your cause.  They like to volunteer so it is likely that will be how they find you in the first place.  Developing a volunteer-donor action plan to help them become advocates and possibly even members of your board someday.  Start grooming them now by placing them in positions of leadership within your organization.

According to a 2015 census, Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers 83 million to 75 million.  With numbers like that it might be important to start learning and understanding their giving habits.  Research shows that they are likely to give more as they mature.

(Compiled from 6 Ways to Entice Millennial Donors, The Nonprofit Times and Millennials Start Displaying Inclination To Give by Andy Segedin,

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