March 7, 2016, by Becca Bloch

With 2016 in full force, we have no doubt your nonprofit has begun organizing and analyzing this year’s donor engagement plan. As a successful nonprofit, it is crucial to understand how to communicate effectively with your audience and supporters in order to make the right type of requests.

Although this has held true for many generations, nonprofits are changing their tactics and developing approaches to coincide with the giving patterns of millennials. In order to get millennials on board with donating to your nonprofit’s cause, you’ll need to understand their mindset, learn their language, and answer the fundamental question, “what motivates millennials to donate?”

We are here to help! Below we’ve highlighted 3 ways to reach your millennial donors:

1. Use mobile giving:

I think it is fair to say millennials are consumed by their cell phones. In today’s society, mobile phones, or Smartphones, are used for everything and anything- from snapping pictures to depositing checks, millennials use them for it all.

So why not reach millennials where they spend the grand majority of their time, a.k.a on their phones? According to Nielson, 85% of Millennials in the US own smartphones, generating a need and interest for the latest, most up-to-date technological trends. By implementing mobile giving, your nonprofit will be catering to the needs of your donors, specifically the millennial population.

Givelify is a donation app that allows its users to participate in charitable giving right from their phone. Providing your millennial donors with a simple, on- the- go, mobile app will let them donate in the moment and better yet, on their phone.

2. Establish a community/network:

Millennials are highly invested in experiences more so than products which in turn is a major plus for your nonprofit organization. Forming a sense of community and participating in social networking has a large influence on the way millennials operate.

Although their interests in nonprofits and charitable organizations exist- they enjoy being surrounded by like-minded people and feeling a sense of belonging, they crave more. They crave the personal and professional impact/benefit it will have for them.

The challenge is, how does your nonprofit accomplish this? We suggest creating networking opportunities for your millennial donors- leadership meetings, book reviews, movie nights, guest speakers, debate events, cocktail hours, etc. A more structured donor atmosphere creates a space and foundation where millennial donors feel part of something that is greater than themselves.

Additionally, using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provides a virtual outlet for your millennial donors to connect as well. By facilitating both face-to-face and digital interactions, millennials establish the sense of community and network they long for, while at the same time become loyal members of your organization.

3. Demonstrate the impact of donations:

“How are my $10 dollars benefiting your cause? Where is it going? ”

These are two typical questions millennials will ask prior to donating. Millennials want to know how their contributions are making a difference to your cause. They are looking for answers that illustrate the journey of funds from donor to recipient. It is imperative that your nonprofit organization be clear, transparent, and consistent with their communication as this is what millennials are expecting.

An added bonus is to let your donors decide the amount they want to donate. It is a lot easier for millennials to donate $5,$10,$15 monthly than $100+. And of course, make sure you say thank you!

Well, there you have it! With around 83.1 millennials in the USA alone, “they represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population.” That being said, it is important that your organization pay attention and focus on ways to engage and motivate your millennial donors. A win-win situation- more involvement in your nonprofit’s community and a great increase in your organization’s donations!

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Becca Bloch

Becca Bloch is the communications & partnership manager at Elevation, a full- service nonprofit web design agency. As a lifelong volunteer for nonprofits, Becca has taken her passion to the next level assisting nonprofit organizations in developing an online presence in order to influence greater change within their community. When she isn’t working, Becca enjoys snapping photos, Netflix movie marathons, and catching up on her favorite blogs.