The charitable giving landscape is changing. Millennials currently represent the largest portion of the population and are projected to have $30,000,000,000,000 of wealth transferred to them over the next 30 years. That's 30 trillion dollars in case you didn't have time to count all 13 zeros.
And although my generation is thought of as collection of selfie-obsessed narcissists, we actually donate quite generously to charitable organizations. The thing is if you want our money, you are going to have to change your donation game.
Don’t worry; we at Elevation Web have compiled 8 tips to help you evolve with the times.
1. Monthly Donation Options
According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, over 50% of millennials said they would be interested in donating monthly to an organization. Instead of asking for a lump sum, give donors the option to donate $5, $10 or $20 per month. Millennials don’t have the capital to give $500 yet but if you cultivate them as small, consistent donors now, once they amass wealth, they will give more.
2. Up-to-date website
We cannot overemphasize the importance of an up-to-date, secure and visually pleasing website. I can speak for myself and my friends when I say we will likely not give to an organization with an outdated site even if your cause is worthwhile. We don’t trust sites that look older or take a long time to load. If you want millennial donors your nonprofit has to invest in your site.
With the spread of information technology, people are now accustomed to researching before they make decisions. Your donors want to know where their money is going. They want figures, data and stats. They want timelines, projected outcomes and a summary after a project is finished. Make all of this available to those researching your organization before they donate. This makes your nonprofit more attractive to millennial donors.
4. Generational Differences
Millennials and baby boomers give for different reasons. Millennials are generally more optimistic about the future than their baby boomer counterparts. Baby boomers give because they see it as part of their values but aren’t optimistic about their money changing the world. Millennials give because they believe in change. To attract them you want them to feel that their donation makes a tangible difference.
5. The Increasing Importance of Storytelling
Millennial giving is driven by storytelling. They are not giving to your organization as much as they are giving to an idea, a cause. Telling your nonprofit’s story and impact is essential for attracting the newest generation of donors. Your story should highlight how your donors’ money is changing lives and that they are essential to your cause. Younger donors want to feel that they have been instrumental in creating change. Make sure you craft a story that makes them feel this way.
6. Your Big Ask
The wealthiest generation is no longer the traditionalists, now the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are stepping into the spotlight. However, these folks are still working with no plans of retiring soon. They have busy schedules and unlike previous donors, many will want you to do your big ask over the phone or Skype. This may seem odd to those of you have been in the field for a while so make sure you are prepared if your donor cancels lunch and replaces it with a Skype session or phone call!
7. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Millennials enjoy working in groups and donation is no exception. Peer-to-peer fundraising efforts are an awesome way to get millenials interested in donating to your nonprofit. It allows them to tap into their social networks, utilize social media and work in groups. Consider making your next fundraiser a peer-to-peer campaign!
8. Get Them Involved
Millennials want to give more than just money, they want to be involved. Try adding a call-to-action on your “thank you for donating page” linking them to volunteer information. This gives them the option of doing more for your nonprofit. You can also give multiple project options for donation. For example, when donating to Heifer International, you are able to pick the campaign that you are interested in donating to. This allows your donors to feel that they are participating more in the donation process and have more control over the outcome.
Change is never comfortable but if you act now instead of reacting later, you will find that the newest generation of givers is going to do amazing things for your nonprofits.
As always if you have any comments or questions please reach out! We love hearing from you.