How to Reach Your Millennial Donors

Donor Acquisition and Retention

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Though Millennials are rumored to be one of the most charitable generations, without understanding their motives, it is difficult to reach them. Because you deserve a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie, it’s critical to learn what strums the heartstrings of those born between 1980 and 2000.

Here’s how you can truly reach your paradoxical Millennial donors.

Why Should You Worry About Millennials?

When it comes to securing donations, you shouldn’t leave anyone out of your strategies. Of course, Boomers and Generation X are just as likely to become donors, and they deserve your attention too. However, keep in mind that Millennials account for around 78 million of the population and $1.3 trillion in spending in the United States.

Check out these statistics on millennial donors.

If you’re not considerate of the needs and desires of this group, you’re neglecting what could be the core of your organization. Learn to optimize your fundraisers and give them what they want.

Appealing to the general attitudes of your Millennial donors

The approach you take to entice Millennials will make or break your fundraising campaign. Let’s take a closer look at four generational attitudes and behaviors of this group offered by bcg.perspectives so that you can build your strategy around them.

1. “I want it fast, and I want it now.”

Millennials value speed and efficiency. When it comes to fundraising, the platform you use will play a major role in whether or not this group is willing to donate.

If you don’t capture the donation straightaway, it will likely never happen. Use software and mobile marketing strategies that appeal to an ‘instant gratification’ mentality.

SMS has revolutionized giving by honing a method of delivering communications promptly. The average opt-in retention rate for SMS contact lists is 76%. The average donation amount for a text message is $167. Why not leverage the power of SMS marketing to drive more donors to your fundraising campaigns?

There are several effective ways to nurture donors via text. Here are a few:

  • Ask recipients to view a piece of new content on your blog.
  • Build hype: send a message asking if they’d be interested in receiving more information if you decide to move forward with a campaign.
  • Invite potential donors to like social media pages or posts.
  • Update them with helpful tips or daily interesting facts.
  • Come right out and ask for a pledge or donation.
  • Share a poll or quiz.

These tips are only a drop in the ocean of what’s possible with text messaging for nonprofits. Keep an eye on how other organizations make use of SMS and constantly educate yourself.

2. “I trust my friends more than ‘corporate mouthpieces.’”

It should come as no surprise to read that Millennials trust the opinions of their friends and family while having distrust for companies. This is why fundraising generally starts close to home.

When you can get the people around you excited about your campaign, and they are persuaded to share, that’s when success will happen. After someone has made a donation or shown interest in a fundraising campaign, ask them to share your content; make it easy.

Your donation pages should include social media sharing buttons, optional features that allow people to publish a campaign page, and/or short URLs for easy sharing that you can track. Keep an eye on what aspects of your strategy are successful and those that are failing to re-target campaigns.

In order to remain trustworthy in the eyes of Millennials, avoid uninteresting, generic fundraising communications. Millennials, even more so than other generations, want to know that there is a real person behind the organization they’re supporting. In a nutshell, keep it human.

Keep your language conversational and “real.” Remember that you are building relationships with donors, not desperately begging for money.

3. “I’m a social creature—both online and offline.”

Millennials want to see both online and offline channels for donations. “Omnichannel” refers to more than one delivery method that can be perceived as part of a whole. If you’re only hosting donations online, reconsider.

In eCommerce, omnichannel shopping allows a customer to shop in-store, online, and via mobile. Apply this methodology to your fundraising by offering a holistic donation approach.

It’s better to provide an online donation page, a phone number that your donors can call to make a payment directly to the organization, and mobile options for sending funds.

Mobile fundraisers that leverage text messaging, branded apps, and call-in options for giving are highly successful because they appeal to the need for Millennials and other generational groups to connect both on and offline.

Millennial donors prefer online and offline communication.

Additionally, offering multiple options alleviates fears that donors may have about payment security. Even if your research shows that most donations will be made online from a PC or laptop, open up the options. Give your donors the option to choose how they deliver payment information.

4. “I can make the world a better place.”

You might think that just because a Millennial sees your nonprofit they will automatically feel philanthropic, but this simply isn’t true. Anyone can create a charity.

The biggest aspect of your job as a fundraiser is to fully illustrate the significance of your charity. Then, you need to make the potential donor feel like they belong.

You can achieve that by making your donation page copy personalized. Remember that you’re speaking to your donor as if they are an individual standing right in front of you. Avoid phrasing that sounds as if you’re speaking to a group of people. Use the word “you.”

Leverage expressions that simultaneously trigger belonging and empowerment:

“You’re the reason humanity still has hope,” or

“By making a decision to donate, you help save hundreds from starvation.”

The ultimate goal when driving donations from Millennials is to make the sentiment all about their contribution to something greater than themselves.

Final Thoughts

It’s safe to assume Millennials’ spending will grow during coming years. If you want to appeal to Millennial donors and gain your share of that spending, it’s paramount to understand their general attitudes. Through harnessing an understanding of how Millennials think, you can optimize the donation process.

Use text messaging to drive immediate donations. Leverage trustworthy campaigns. Create omnichannel campaigns to foster activity both online and offline. Stroke people’s egos with highly-personalized campaign copy.

This post was contributed by Alexa Lemzy of TextMagic, an all-in-one bulk SMS service. Thank you to Alexa for the valuable expertise and insights into reaching millennial donors.


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