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Millennial Donors: An Oxymoron?

Since the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and even before, I‘ve found more and more clients wanting to embark on the unchartered journey of converting millennials into donors. I recently ran across an article that did a great job of highlighting things I’ve found to be true when engaging with millennials (and as a millennial myself, it takes one to know one!)

One important takeaway was transparency. Millennials REALLY want to make an impact… so if they’re going to donate to your cause, you’d better be able to deliver on what you promise – and be able to show it. We millennials love follow up and accountability. So share results and real stories with us – of the hungry child who was fed, the sea turtle that was saved or a homeless vet who now has a place to call “home.”

I also believe that millennials are nudging the older generations to become more aware of the causes they are supporting. They’re pushing donors to be more involved, whether via hands-on volunteering or using social media to ask questions, share their experiences with a nonprofit, and more fully engage in a worthy cause.

The reality is that most millennials aren’t ready to be full-fledged donors – the disposable income just isn’t there yet. But why not start cultivating us? Engage with the knowledge that we can become your future donors. Consider starting a young professional leadership program. If you already have one, make sure to engage them in fundraising. Also, capitalize on campaigns that resonate with younger folk… I’m thinking #GivingTuesday or other peer to peer (pressure) opportunities.

Take it slow, try new things but recognize you won’t likely see a return on your investment just yet. With a new administration in office, there’s A LOT of idea exchange going on in the social media world. Suffice it to say that millennials are talking. We’re chatting about our concerns, our aspirations, and where we’re going. Listen and you’ll find insights into connecting with us budding philanthropists. You’ll see we are interested in changing the world – and are ready to work with others who demonstrate they are doing just that.

Millennial out,

Christa Keller

Millennial Donors: An Oxymoron?