2 ways for nonprofits to improve millennial engagement

Most nonprofits know that older age brackets have historically been the donors who've contributed the most to their cause. It's for that reason why charitable organizations have allocated a considerable number of resources to interacting with their largest group of benefactors who give most frequently.

However, as time progresses, organizations may have to look down the age ladder and start focusing on a new wave of future contributors: Generation Y. More commonly known as millennials, these individuals vary in age between 18 and 29 years old and have been dubbed as the "me" generation thanks in part to the selfie-obsessed subculture that young adults are part of today. According to Forbes contributor Micah Solomon, millennial youth make up the largest generation of potential donors ever in American history. For that reason alone, nonprofits should begin to look at how they connect with the youth of today and what they can do to increase support for their cause.

Listed below are two ways nonprofits can improve millennial engagement:

  1. Invest in channels that they're always using: Not every nonprofit has a robust marketing budget, but there are ways around that. In fact, these methods are oftentimes more effective in reaching young adults as opposed to traditional marketing conduits. Social media is a massive opportunity for nonprofits to engage with millennials because members of this generation are almost always using one or more online network. These platforms are also successful because they have the capability to share content to a large audience. Things like photographs, videos, surveys and contests are shareable and a great way to have your nonprofit's followers interact on a regular basis. If leveraged properly, social media can be one of the industry's best online fundraising tools.
  2. Market your cause, not your organization: An important element of successful marketing is establishing a brand voice within an industry - especially one as competitive as the nonprofit sector. Yet, millennials aren't as inclined to give to a well-known organization and are more likely to volunteer or give for a cause that aligns with their values, so let them know what you're all about. A four-year summary of the annual "Millennial Impact Project" conducted by digital marketing agency Achieve found that young adults want to engage with causes to help others and would rather not associate themselves with larger institutions. 
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