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How to Get Millennials Excited About Philanthropy

How to Get Millennials Excited About Philanthropy

Millennials, also known as Gen Y, Echo Boomers, and Digital Natives, were born from approximately 1977 to 1995. This group often gets a bad rap for being seen as a generation of narcissists. However, millennials now make a huge part of charitable contributions for worthy causes. In fact, through sharing on social media, offering time and influence, always being connected digitally, and holding a strong desire to make an impact, Millennial philanthropy has changed the face of fundraising. So, the big question is, how do you attract this valuable generation and get them excited about fundraising?

Follow our simple guide to learn more about what makes Millennials tick, where they choose to give and how they prefer to donate. Armed with this key information, you’ll be able to create an unforgettable and profitable fundraiser that Millennials will love.

What Causes Do Millennials Care About?

Many Millennials want to be remembered for their philanthropic efforts, so giving is extremely important to them.  So, what causes do millennials care about? The Millennial trend seems to be choosing to give to nonprofits and organizations that they feel emotionally connected to and wanting to take part in something that will create a significant impact. Here are a few things to consider when targeting Millennials to get excited about your fundraiser.

millennial philanthropy

Millennials Want to Make a Connection

millennial's want to be engaged in fundraising

Millennials want to feel like they’re making a difference. They tend to engage with causes they have a personal connection with and/or will positively impact their communities. Your cause needs to resonate with them and get them emotionally charged to participate. So, make your fundraiser moving, relevant, engaging, and informative. One of the best ways to do this is by posting personal stories about people and communities that have been helped, thanks to your organization, on social media platforms, your personalized fundraising page, appeals, and follow-ups. 

Building Relationships

Millennial philanthropy is often influenced by which charities their peers are advocating for. Word of mouth, friends and family’s testimonials, and offering opportunities for groups of friends to volunteer together can seriously sway a Millennial’s charity of choice to support. Encourage peer-to-peer campaigns where Millennial supporters will work together with friends, family, and colleagues to raise money for a cause close to their hearts. 

millennial philanthropy

On the subject of relationship-building, many Millennials like to connect on a personal level with the staff at the nonprofit or organization they’re involved in. They are often motivated to be long-time supporters of one particular cause simply based on the relationship they have nurtured with the staff and volunteers at the nonprofit. Remember this, as lasting relationships are vital to gaining recurring donations and great recommendations for new supporters.

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Taking Part

Participation is essential for a successful fundraiser. However, ‘taking part’ doesn’t always mean being physically present with millennials. Millennial philanthropy often includes volunteering time, services, and influence to a cause they feel strongly about, as well as contributing financially. 

Where Millennials Give

Once you understand the Millennials ‘why,’ it’s essential to identify where they prefer to donate their time, money, and influence. 

Passion Projects

millennial philanthropy: enviroment

Millennial philanthropy tends to lean towards fundraising campaigns that evoke deep-rooted emotions and advocate social and environmental responsibility, as well as equal rights and opportunities. More often than not, Millennial philanthropy centers on supporting the people behind the cause, not so much on hearing the organization talk about itself. So, focus your fundraising campaign on human connection and get your Millennial supporters passionate about your event.  

Impact and Transparency Are Important to Millennials

millennial philanthropy: transparency

Millennials love to research nonprofits and charities online before deciding to donate. They will often scout out financial and impact reports on a charity’s website, social media channels, or local news outputs. So, make sure to be transparent about your fundraiser’s mission, values, and the impact you are planning to make.  

Increase your transparency by creating great social media content to show the real-time impact of your fundraiser. This could be through live-streaming, stories on Facebook and Instagram, or Tik Tok videos, which all give your supporters a window into the real faces and achievements behind the fundraiser. 

How Millennials Give

It’s no surprise that Millennials like to give the easy way – via simple, online donations.

Digital Donations

Millennials are almost always connected to a digital device of some kind. This is great news for your fundraising campaign, as it increases the accessibility and convenience of receiving donations. Make sure to offer the latest mobile giving features, such as Text-to-Donate and digital wallets, to make promoting your campaign easier and exceed your fundraising goals with the help of Millennials.

digital donation

Sharing (Even Via Social Media) Is Caring

Millennials are constantly sharing (and sometimes over-sharing) on social media. Regardless of whether you love or hate social media, this sharing culture, which is a huge part of the Millennial lifestyle, is exactly what you need to spread the word about your fundraiser and engage your supporters. Increasing your campaign’s exposure through so many social media channels is only a positive when trying to expand your outreach and generate awareness and donations for your cause. Create Hashtag challenges, add donation stickers, post photos, videos, and engaging content to share, and make sure everyone is aware of your fundraising website.

Tips to Attract Millennials to your Fundraiser and Keep Them Coming Back 

Millennials will be looking for certain key factors to get excited about a cause. Take the following tips into consideration to grab their attention, secure their support and participation in your fundraiser, and keep them coming back for more.

Make your Campaign Relevant and Simple

millennial philanthropy: brand

Authenticity and practicality are key Millennial values. Your nonprofit brand has to manifest these values for Millennials to be interested in participating and giving to your cause. Make sure that you keep close to the personal story behind the cause during the entire campaign. It’s vital to make your Millennial supporters feel the same emotions they felt initially when they were first attracted to your fundraiser or charity. 

Make your campaign relevant, secure sponsorships, and offer products that resonate with social responsibility and equal opportunities. Here are some examples: 

  • Offer Recycled/recyclable or sustainable material branded merchandise on your bespoke eCommerce store highlighting your fundraiser’s mission.
  • Don’t overcomplicate things – keep your message short, clear, and engaging. Stick to the personal connection angle, and don’t over ‘self-talk’ about your organization. 
  • Promote inclusivity, equity, and diversity during your fundraiser as key values. Anyone from any background and ability should be able to take part to encourage equal opportunities.   

Optimized Tech Features Are Essential for Millennial Fundraising 

millennials love tech

Millennials are a tech-savvy generation. So providing a convenient and digital way to donate is a must if you want to attract them to give to your cause. 

  • Offer Text-to-Donate and online donations that can make giving as simple as possible. Practicality and convenience play a huge role in Millennials’ lives.
  • Provide virtual and hybrid options for your fundraiser to include everyone and maximize your outreach. Don’t forget, the more people that participate, the more likely you are to exceed your fundraising goals.
  • Include gamification features to engage your techy Millennial supporters and create a bit of healthy competitiveness among them.
  • Make every facet of your fundraising campaign shareable for maximum exposure. Use social media channels, apps, and your personalized fundraising page.

DoJiggy’s free online and virtual fundraising platform does all of this and more!

Keep Them Coming Back

thank you email

Once you’ve engaged your Millennials, you want to keep them as long-term donors. Don’t forget to show them where and how their donation had an impact and send regular updates about how important their support is to your organization. This could be through short video or photo posts to show the impact progress of your fundraiser. Ideally, you want to keep evoking the initial emotion that sparked their initial interest in supporting your nonprofit. It’s also vital to thank them and make them feel appreciated. Here are a few ways you can thank your donors for their support:

  • Write personalized emails
  • Post photos on social media of the fundraiser’s accomplishments tagging them with your donor’s names 
  • Send a short thank-you video showing the impact of their donation to remind them of why they were inspired to give in the first place

For more on how to build relationships and stay in touch with your donors, check out our Ultimate Guide To Event Planning For Nonprofits.

This is a defining moment for Millennial philanthropy. Millennials are now seen as an impact generation, which is fantastic news for nonprofits looking to promote positive change. Make sure to connect to your Millennial supporters on a deeply personal level to spark their interest in investing in your fundraiser. Once you have them in your grasp, build relationships with them, their friends, and family, and you will secure life-long contributors to your cause.

Millennial philanthropy should be fun!
Sarah Bender

About Sarah Bender

Originally from Surrey, UK, Sarah has worked remotely in various online fields for the last 8 years. Currently, she is focusing on writing blogs on online fundraising and special events for a UK audience. When she is not spending her days researching and writing, you can find her running around after her two highly active young sons which constitutes a serious workout program!

See other posts from Sarah Bender