Monday, May 22, 2017

Fundraisers Face Challenges Wooing Millennials

Millennials, now the nation's largest generational cohort, are a challenge for many nonprofit marketers. Alas, fundraising campaigns that won over baby boomers don't necessarily succeed with millennials in their 20s and 30s. Yet fundraisers can't afford to fail with this younger age group. A recent NonProfit PRO interview with Vickie Lobello, fundraising consultant Turnkey’s lead strategist, offered data points that explain why. Lobello cites research, from Salesforce to Millennial Impact reports, verifying that millennials want to make a difference and so form a great pool of prospective volunteers. For example, 88% of millennial females and 82% of millennial males say that it's important to be engaged in work that gives back to the community. A Pew Research Center survey found that 57% of millennials reported volunteering in the last 12 months, compared with 52% of boomers. Even more important for marketers, millennials are a growing donor force. Lobello points out that 52% of millennials say they donated to a cause affiliated with a social issue in the past month. Plus, millennials are more likely to increase their giving year-over-year compared with other age groups! Finally, Lobello underscores that millennials offer potent social media leverage. Research shows 61% of millennials post about issues they care about anywhere from one to 11 times a week on social media! Yet millennials are motivated in different ways from their parents. Messaging, creative and preferred giving channels need to reflect that reality. Randy Hawthorne, executive director of Nonprofit Hub, recently drew on his experience to outline changes in fundraising tactics to successfully win millennials. For example, since millennials spend so much time connected to social media, Hawthorne urges promoting the cause (not the organization) on social platforms. Also, since millennials seek relationships, marketers should realize that a cold ask for dollars may be a turn-off, and should also offer ways for millennials to engage more deeply with a cause, such as volunteering (which leads to donating). Fundraisers also must cater to millennials' impulsive use of technology by offering easy online and mobile donation options. Then maintaining that valuable millennial engagement requires frequent, meaningful communication, not just an annual report! Read our full post at