Millennials are generous to nonprofits

We’ve dispensed with the notion that millennials are selfish and entitled - they do support causes.

Business people in a meeting

Business people in a meeting Shutterstock

There was a time when the average millennial was perceived to be less generous than their Generation X or baby boomer counterparts. The internet coined the term “slacktivism” to refer to the lack of effort involved in using social media to support political or social causes, and that was supposed to be that, right?

Thankfully, we’ve dispensed with the notion that millennials are selfish and entitled - they do support causes and charities with their time and money. But their charitable side has to be approached differently if you want to engage them.  Try using these tips when brainstorming for your next fundraiser or event:

Find ways to have your cause intersect with their interests

Millennials are driven by their interests. They’re more likely to support causes that they personally identify with. So, get to know your audience and learn what causes they like but also what they’re interested in outside of charitable causes. If your audience has a strong passion for the farm to table food scene, is there a way your organization can tap into that? Millennials from stronger connections to your cause if it relates to the interests they engage with such as DIY projects, health and fitness or gaming.

Create experiences that help them share their support

Supporting causes has become an integral part of this generation’s online identity. Millennials want to be able to voice their support for causes and encourage their friends and followers to support as well. That can involve something as simple as a Facebook birthday fundraiser or an Instagram story of them volunteering for an event. They want to take ownership of their support and be able to share it with their friends. So, when you’re brainstorming experiences, events or marketing, think about how your audience might share it and why it would be something that they want to share.

Do more with influencers

Influencers want to share their support for the causes they care about, just as much as millennials. But you’ll need to take the time to grow a partnership. Instead of just requesting an influencer to support and spread awareness for your fundraiser or event, find ways to involve them. Collaborate with them on creating content and share the content they create through your organization’s channels.

Make giving more personal

Whether it’s the Facebook birthday fundraiser mentioned above, or a close friend’s Go Fund Me, Peer To Peer fundraisers are the preferred way millennials choose to give online. That means there also needs to be something more personal on the receiving end of their donation process. Make an individual story as the focus of a fundraiser versus just requesting a blanket donation. Go Fund Me is a great resource for inspiration on how to structure your ask. You can also read their helpful guides on how to create more impactful campaigns.

Remember to put yourself in your audiences shoes. What about your cause relates to their interests? What can you do to make the experience more shareable?

Millennials are generous, they just support causes a little differently.