How Nonprofits Can Better Engage Millennials
According to Pew Research, Millennials have surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the workforce in the US. This means Millennials are well into their prime earning years. Millennials might not be donating as much as older generations, but they are a growth market that will be increasing over the coming years and decades. For those nonprofit organizations who rely on donations, this will become increasingly important. So, if you haven't already, it's time to start courting Millennials.
We have all read articles about Millennials and heard stories about how they are different from past generations. Don't worry, we aren't Millennial bashing today, but instead, talking about how you can better engage them.
More cause oriented
More than other generations, Millennials like to identify with the cause the non-profits promotes. In your messaging and content, make sure to put your cause front and center. It doesn't hurt to include something about the positive results your organization has with the cause.
Not to beat a dead horse here, but with years of participation trophies, this one seems obvious. They especially like public recognition, birthday notes, a personalized gift with photo, thank you text message, or a small gift.
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Prefer social media to email
This one is pretty straight forward as millennials were the first generation to grow up with the internet, and they are the first connected generation with "always on" internet access in their pockets. Don't cancel your email campaigns, just be sure you have similar communcations on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks frequented by Millenials.
Prefer giving online over sending a check
Check? What's that? Most millennials pay their bills online, and a lot of them don't bother balancing their checkbook. It is no surprise that they would also tend to donate to nonprofits online too. Make sure that you provide them with the ability to give to your organization easily online. There are many services out there, or you could go the custom route if your nonprofit has specific needs that a third party service can't satisfy.
Likes to read shorter (but more frequent) communications from non-profits
This one goes hand-in-hand with social media. Typically, people want to read small focused and interesting snippets of content. However, be sure to engage with Millennials through social media regularly. Don't forget to ask them to share your posts too. Lastly, make sure to vary the content between text, photos, infographics, and short videos since variety is the spice of life for most Millennials.
More likely to donate after volunteering
Ask Millennials to volunteer first. If you get them in the door to help out, you will have them hooked. Combine this with personalization by sharing photos of them volunteering. Then tag them in the photos, and you have a supporter for life.
Despite all the negative press Millennials get, they can be passionate supporters of causes. And, if you know how to engage them, your organization will grow as a result. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and engage those Millennials.
Tags:nonprofits non-profits millennials donations social media volunteering causes giving personalization