3 strategies for nonprofits to target millennials

As the millennial generation continues to grow in both size and spending power, organizations of all kinds are realizing the need to adapt their strategies in order to tap into Generation Y's values, talent and income. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are projected to reach 75.3 million by the end of 2015, outnumbering the projected 74.9 million baby boomers.

Not only are millennials surpassing other generations, but they are also much more charitable than most people think. The 2015 Millennial Impact Report revealed 84 percent of millennial employees and 92 percent of millennial managers made a charitable donation in 2014.

The importance of millennials to nonprofit growth and fundraising is undeniable. Here are three strategies for your nonprofit to reach this generation:

1. Empower them in the workplace
One way to encourage millennials to donate to and participate in your nonprofit organization is by partnering with companies to reach them in the work place. According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, 48 percent of millennials have donated to a giving campaign promoted by their employer at some point in their lives. Further, 46 percent of millennial employees were more likely to make a donation if a co-worker asked them to, and 65 percent were more likely to volunteer.

Millennials are heavily influenced by their peers and seek the opportunity to use their skills in an impactful way. Partnering with the companies where millennials work is a great way to foster peer influence and empower this generation to use their skills toward something outside of their everyday tasks.

2. Motivate them with competitions and incentives
Leveraging competitions and incentives is another excellent strategy for getting millennials involved with your nonprofit organization. Another key finding from the 2015 Millennial Impact Report was 43 percent of millennial employees would be more likely to give if competition was involved. Competitions, in particular, encourage peer-to-peer interaction and keep millennials interested in your cause. Incentives such as name recognition and physical prizes will make millennials feel seen and valued for their contributions to your nonprofit, whether those contributions are monetary or in the form of volunteer time.

3. Engage them through mobile
Millennials are an inherently mobile generation, and their mobile preference does not stop with nonprofit organizations. According to Forbes, research conducted by Barkley showed among millennials who donate to charities, nearly 50 percent do so using their smartphones. With this insight in mind, it is important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile, and that your organization's online donation form is easily accessible on the landing page.

Make sure to keep in touch with millennials through their desired mobile median, as well. An AdWeek infographic on millennial consumers shows 52 percent of millennials prefer to receive a text over a phone call. Consider using text messages to ask millennials for additional donations, thank them for their contributions and share news. Engaging millennials through mobile is an effective way to keep them apprised of your organization's news and successes, and encourage them to continue donating in the future.

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