The demographic group born between 1980 and 2000, popularly known as Generation Y or Millennials are, or at least, are on their way to be the largest generation in the world. According to a study by Pew Research centre, they are expected to overtake Generation X (ages 35 – 50) by 2028. The Millennial Impact report 2017 suggests that 77% members of Generation Y believe that they can make a difference by standing up for the cause they’re passionate about. However, they aren’t likely to just write a big fat check to your fundraising campaign just because you support the cause they care about.
Smart nonprofits will use this opportunity to rethink their approach in asking for donations. They must first understand the challenges and pain areas on the donation front. The biggest issue is the fact that the majority of millennials are constrained on time. They do not have the time to physically donate to nonprofits due to other priorities and commitments. Integrating payment gateways into the donation process enables millennials to instantly donate from anywhere across the globe.
Another important factor from the nonprofit side is getting to know the generation and understand their behaviour. Nonprofits must understand how and why millennials tend to donate to a cause. According to the 2017 Millennial Impact report, 43% of Gen Y volunteered for a cause and more than one-third had donated to a charity. Millennials are highly tech savvy and their usage of social media platforms is extremely high. They spend six hours per week on average in using social media. Fostering relationships and trust is also an important element in engaging with millennials. They tend to value the opinions of peers than nonprofit executives. They spend time assessing products and services online and value others’ reviews and ratings more than traditional branding or advertising. Non-profits must build transparency and trust by being specific about where their donations go by using technology tools that allow real-time monitoring and measure impact and outcomes. Lastly, create a sense of ownership among them through your fundraising experience. Provide offers to create their own peer to peer campaigns and online petitions. These experiences will make them feel like they are making a difference and hence be loyal to your organization.
So summing up, Millennials are going to be the Romeo to your nonprofit’s Juliet in the years to come. So make sure it is well equipped to convince millennials to be your knight in shining armour. Adapting to technology and understanding their behaviour will prove to be the best strategy for its long term growth. If not your non-profit would be missing out on a huge window of opportunity to ensure it makes a lasting difference to society. But what are the next steps after your nonprofit has gone digital? That’s a question we’ll give an answer to another time. Until then may the force be with you, our fellow change makers!