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Why Millennial Donors Are Important for Your Nonprofit

In the nonprofit world, millennials are impacting the way people

donate, fundraise, volunteer, and spread information about your cause.

Even the way that they engage with and support your organization is

different from ever before. According to CNN, millennials are now the

largest demographic in the country, representing a quarter of the US

population. With millennials quickly taking over the workforce, it’s

important to make sure that millennial donors are rooting

for your nonprofit when they’re deciding where to donate.

Millennial generation facts

  • Age: 22 to 37-years-old in 2018 (born between 1981 and 1996)

  • Population: 73 million by 2019 (overtaking Boomers with 72 million)

  • Background: Most racially and ethnically diverse adult generation

  • in history

  • Habits: 92% own a smartphone and 85% use social media

Millennial donors by the numbers

While the monetary amount that millennials give to a charitable cause in the past year is lower than older generations, they are well-rounded in their support. According to The Street, 41% favor support through donations of food, clothes, or supplies, while 27% prefer to volunteer their time.

  • $2.45 trillion: The estimated spending power of the millennial generation.

  • $582 is the average amount of millennials donated in 2017.

  • Millennials are volunteering for an average of 40 hours per year, higher than the 34 hours that Gen Xers complete.

As you can see in the above statistics from The Nonprofit Times, millennials are undoubtedly altering today’s models of giving and society’s perceptions of how to create change locally, nationally, and globally.

Engaging millennial supporters

Millennials support causes and social issues that personally appeal to them and shape their future. While they may not support your organization the same way that other generations do, their impact goes far. As the 2018 Millennial Impact Report notes, nonprofit giving from millennials has recently trended toward cause-based giving, rather than organization-based giving. The average millennial is currently giving to over five different organizations per year, showing that their loyalty is to fighting for a specific cause, rather than backing an organization.
Additionally, in the 2017 Millennial Impact Report, 86% of millennials responded that they felt they could make an impact on the world in their lifetime. This means that millennials will be more likely to jump from nonprofit to nonprofit, donating wherever they feel the biggest need is. Millennials are relying on themselves and their peers to create change more than any other generation. Engage with them as individuals and be sure to drive your mission home. With this formula, you’ll surely get millennials on your side.

Technology and millennials

Millennials are much more likely than other generations to use technology and be influenced by it:

  • 51% of millennials have given through a charity’s website.

  • 37% of millennials have used a smartphone to give through a charity’s website.

  • 36% of millennials have been motivated to give by something on a charity’s website.

For millennials, sharing their support of a cause helps to express who they are and what they care about. They want their friends to see how their contributions make a difference, so they seek out visuals of their impact that they can share on social media. This social sharing is great for nonprofits as it continues to share its mission with the masses.

Tailor your fundraiser Be bold in your mission

Don’t be afraid to share your heart with your audience. Explain not only what your mission is but why it’s so important. Millennials want to give to causes that they believe will create great change. Tell donors why your nonprofit is the right place for them to give so they can create the change they’re looking for.

Share a story

Donors need statistics and facts to understand the need. However, telling a story about the need that your nonprofit fixes will appeal to your donor emotionally. Telling a story can be done through the written word, video, photo, or even a podcast. Don’t limit the ways that you can reach your audience—try a few different ways of communicating your message and see what works best for your nonprofit.

Detail how funds will be used

Perhaps the most important part of any fundraiser is explaining to your donors how their money will be used. Millennials want to solve problems and they don’t want to give their money to a nonprofit that isn’t transparent in how funds will be allocated. Don’t wait until your end-of-year report to share how funds were spent in the past. Instead, explain what every donation will go toward at the very beginning of your fundraiser.

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