the why & how of millennial giving

By , On , In Charity Support

We’ve all heard that millennials aren’t all that generous when it comes to charitable giving. However, it’s not that they don’t give – it’s that they make their donations and financial contributions differently. Understanding why and how millennials give is the key to millennial engagement with your nonprofit organization. Here is a values-based approach (why) and practical tools (how) to strengthen your organization’s giving relationship with millennials as donors.

3 why values: authentic inspiration, transparency, and sharing the impact

The Millennial Impact Report provides annual data and analysis on how US millennials have interacted with causes over the last ten years. Their report reveals three meaningful values motivating this generation’s cause engagement: authentic inspiration, transparency, and sharing impact.

1. authentic inspiration

Millennials value meaningful connections and are more likely to give when moved by an authentic story. Largely, millennials are more driven by a belief in a cause than by a specific organization, making it important to tap into the emotions surrounding your cause to stimulate engagement. However, don’t mistake this strategy for being disingenuous. Be real about your cause and it will provoke a sincere desire to help.

tip: tell personal stories, share pictures, and feature individuals who have benefited from your services.

2. transparency

Report! Report! While millennials aren’t lacking in passion, they don’t have as much to give at this point in their lives, given tuition fees, student debt, the rise of youth unemployment (and underemployment), and a higher cost of living. It is critical for millennials to see where their money goes and how their contribution makes a tangible difference. Millennials give, and give again when they can see and measure their influence.

Recurring giving matters, so be sure to consider the lifetime value of a donor.

Building trust with this generation is a long-term investment in donor retention and future giving.

Discover how trellis keeps donor data, ticketing, and receipting in one easy-to-understand place.

tip: help millennial donors follow their money by sending regular updates about your fundraising campaign goals and progressions.

3. sharing impact

Millennials can be very results-driven. Seeing the evidence of their impact allows them to feel a sense of pride and enthusiasm. This can lead to a domino effect to cause engagement. Let millennials fundraise for you by taking advantage of their social clout and activating peer-to-peer engagement. The more millennials share impact stories on various platforms (and there are so many!), the more others will become inspired by your cause, and be motivated to give.

tip: form an impact story with testimonials and photos to show how donations went to a specific project – and don’t forget the social share buttons!