3 areas of attention for motivating millennials

Millennials are a complicated target group for many nonprofits: They donate little in the way of monetary funds, but also represent the next generation of givers, fundraisers and even board members. In the wake of MCON14 and the "2014 Millennial Impact Report," here are three areas to focus on with the next generation:

Talk the talk
Ninety-eight percent of millennials use their mobile devices as a primary phone, 90 percent have a Facebook account and 86 percent check email on the Internet, reported npENGAGE. Eighty-three percent own a smartphone and 80 percent said they prefer nonprofits with a mobile-friendly website, added The Guardian. Mobile-optimized pages, emails and active social media are hands-down the most effective way to reach millennials. From there it's a matter of engaging them to get involved with your work. To get an immediate quick donation, even a contribution toward crowdfunding, this is where your easy-to-use online donation forms come in handy.

Get emotional
Millennials are most affected by human interest and impact stories relayed through images and video on social media. Capture their attention by evoking a range of emotion - empathy, humor, pain and triumph - and create inspiring and shareable content, Jamie McDonald, chief giving officer at Network for Good, wrote the blog. You'll want to take advantage of the sharing culture, so offer a variety of stories of successful projects and areas still in need. Avoid formal PR language in favor of social media shorthand to connect best.

Walk the walk
Millennials are curious about your achievements, but they also want to be involved in those same successes. Seventy-three percent volunteered in 2012 and as they become emotionally invested in the stories they hear, they want to contribute beyond money. The more they are actively involved, the more likely they are to transform into fundraisers and vocal advocates for your cause through their social networks. You might even want to consider hiring a few millennials with the right passion and commitment - after all, they'll likely be your future board members.

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