Right now, more than ever, millennials are plugged in and socially aware. Social media teaches them what’s happening in the world without having to wait for the 6 o’clock news or morning newspaper. Millennials don’t just learn about social issues differently from previous generations, they support and engage with them differently too.
So, what does this mean to you and your organization? Millennials are a crucial segment of your audience and it’s important to understand what inspires them, how they operate in the world today, and how you can build your engagement and fundraising programs to work with them.
Here are 3 ways that millennials will help your engagement and fundraising programs be successful.
1.Cause motivated, not salary motivated
Millennials want to feel inspired, motivated and justified in what they’re doing. They believe in causes, not organizations. So cause-motivated in fact, millennials are known to work for less if they feel passion for what they’re doing and see impact in their work.
What this means for you: Take the time to understand the “why” statement for your campaign, organization, or movement. What does it mean to you and how does it resonate with others? If you’re able to compel the same passions in others, you will win their hearts too.
2.Fundraising is moving towards digital, don’t get left behind
Whether it’s viral campaigns like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge or gaining support through petitions and kickstarter campaigns, cause-awareness is built online. People are communicating online and this is where millennials thrive.
What this means for you: Incorporate digital components into your campaign, whether it’s by enabling donors to showcase their donation on social media or incorporating digital ads into your movement to drive engagement – be where millennials are.
3.Great story-tellers, so-so donors
Faced with mounting school debt, precarious employment and outrageous living costs – let’s face it, millennials aren’t the best donors.
However, what they lack in funds, millennials make up for in creativity. From skillfully juggling multiple social media platforms and multi-tasking between emails, texting, tweeting, posting and ‘gramming (i.e. Instagram), millennials are natural story-tellers.
Millennials are loyal to causes and not to big brand companies, they want to see a direct impactfrom their efforts. Whether that’s through a simple ReTweet or Like, these simple acts go a long way. Social media platforms are intended to build community and to share and re-share other people’s content.
What that means for you: Invest time in building your online community through consistent moderation and engaging directly with your supporters.
Though millennials may not be generating the highest donation amounts, you’ll want to ensure your organization is top of mind when they do have the income to start contributing. There is value in building lifetime loyal supporters, even if the return on investment isn’t immediate.
#TIP: Whether it’s our Netflix or Spotify accounts, we are immersed in subscriptions. Take advantage of this growing “subscription culture” by creating a low-rate (ex. $3-5) monthly donor campaign geared towards millennials. They’ll buy in if the cause resonates with them.