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photo of hands with text overlay Millennials: Just Be Cause?Nonprofits and charities are in heavy pursuit of the millennial generation, and the secrets to driving these 18-35 year olds, now over 75 million strong, to support their cause. As a millennial myself, frequent nonprofit volunteer and advocate, and professional in marketing and public relations for nonprofits, I have observed various strategies used to attract donations and volunteers.

“This year, the “Millennial” generation is projected to surpass the outsized Baby Boom generation as the nation’s largest living generation…” –Pew Research Center

According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, 84 percent of millennial employees made a charitable donation in 2014,.  Twenty-two percent of millennials said the decision to donate to a particularly cause was solicited through their company while 78 percent made a charitable donation on their own. So how do nonprofits get millennials to donate to their cause?

Engage on social media

Millennials were born with technology in their hands, almost literally, and value their relationships on social media. Millennials are also more apt to give to organizations that have a social media presence, as 38 percent of millennials indicated brands/organizations who use social rather traditional advertising are more accessible and trustworthy. Nonprofits can no longer afford to ignore or put off committing resources to building effective social media strategy and programs.

When used strategically and appropriately, social media can be a path to solicit donations, but it’s vital to create a good “mix” of content.

Create original content

Millennials are more inclined to give to causes, rather than specific organizations. Millennials want to know how their donation is making a difference in other’s lives. Telling success stories and how programs really work puts a face on your organization. Use your blog or website to host original content on social media and share in bite size chunks and images throughout your social media. Become the voice  and face of your cause to help millennials feel they know the people their donation is helping.

Share, share, and share some more

Along with success stories and the occasional donation appeals, be sure to share and comment on news relevant to your nonprofit industry, tips or quotes with custom graphics, photos from programs, fundraisers or volunteer events, etc. This will help millennials feel a connection to the cause and organization.

The competitive edge

Millennials are more likely to donate if they also gain something from the donation. They tend to be more competitive in nature than past generations and tend to like being noticed. Out of the millennials who donated through campaign campaigns, 43 percent said they would be more likely to donate if competition was involved. Giving a shout out to the group or individuals that raises the most money or clocks the most volunteer hours may drive these millennials to feel ownership of the cause.  While the winnings do not have to be materialistic, offering a prize from a local restaurant, shop or service can also be a cause marketing win for all!

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