Dec 13, 2013
The younger generation of adults, ages 18-34, aren't typically thought of as the most giving, even amongst themselves. But results from a new World Vision survey suggests millennials may be more generous than popular belief gives them credit for.
Conducted annually, the World Vision survey offers a fresh perspective of young donors, finding 56 percent of Generation Y males have donated to a charity in lieu of giving a traditional gift to someone - more than any other demographic. Similarly, 37 percent of young women in the same age group have given charitable gifts, considerably less than their male counterparts but still more than older generations. But nearly two-thirds say giving the gift made them feel "happier." These numbers come as somewhat of a surprise when you consider a little less than half of young adult respondents said they believe older generations are more likely to give to charity.
Even if millennials aren't confident with their own generosity, the fact remains that young adults are raising money for charity. However, attracting that generosity remains a challenge.
Nothing wrong with small gifts
Young adults are notorious for living on budgets. They haven't yet become fully financially comfortable, so your organization shouldn't approach them as potential big time donors. Encouraging smaller contributions will help attract younger contributors and, more importantly, keep them around. Establishing relationships with young donors now could lead to more frequent and larger gifts in the future.
Stay on their level
The millennial culture is unique. According to The Giving Institute, young donors are most likely to make a charitable contribution if the initial solicitation comes from a friend or family member. Since contacting close peers and relatives is not a sustainable strategy, it's important for organizations to offer information via a number of different outlets, especially online and through social media. Spreading your message along a number of different avenues increases the chances of attracting millennial donors.
Give them a voice
Volunteers can hold very powerful and influential positions within your organization beyond strictly charity fundraising, like helping to fill out boards and committees. Reserving positions for younger adults can help foster the image that your organization is serious about including young perspectives. The move will also aid in attracting and establishing potential long term relationships with younger donors that could help your charity gain untold amounts in future donations.