Reaching Out to the Millennials
The June issue of FundRaising Success features a story on how to build relationships with a variety of donor segments, including mature donors, African-Americans and faith-motivated givers. Here, MINDset Direct’s Karin Kirchoff talks about how fundraisers can best communicate with the newest donors: millennials.
According to Wikipedia, “Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation (or Millennials), Generation Next, the Net Generation and Echo Boomers, describes the demographic cohort following Generation X. Members of this generation are called Echo Boomers due to the significant increase in birth rates through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and because many of them are children of baby boomers. Characteristics of the generation vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, it is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world its upbringing was marked by an increase in a neoliberal approach to politics and economics.”
FundRaising Success: Describe millennials (in regard to giving) in three words.
Karin Kirchoff: Donors in training.
FS: What age group makes up the millennials?
KK: Millennials/Gen Y are generally considered to be born in the early 1980s through the early to mid 1990s.
FS: Which types of organizations are most attractive to millennials when they consider giving?
KK: Those with friendraiser programs ("a-thons" for example), as well as those with an innovative Web presence and cutting-edge programs. These donors/this generation appears to be less attracted to the large, national nonprofits than their parents/grandparents support(ed).
FS: Can you offer two top tips for reaching and engaging millennials as donors?
KK: Since millennials are still learning to give, they tend to be influenced most by their peer groups — and as a generation that spends an inordinate amount of time on social networks (often NOT sitting in front of the computer), there is some evidence that there is social pressure to give. They seem to be drawn to friend-to-friend fundraising (a-thons, for example), and they are also far more likely to make Web gifts. So a dynamic Web presence/donation page is key to securing support from these donors.
They don't write checks! My guess is that alternate forms of payment like PayPal — but also the new e-mail payment option that major banks are beta testing — will likely be a draw for this audience.