While nonprofit organizations have found a generous supply of donors in previous generations, Millennials are posing a challenge because they prefer to show their support with a new form of philanthropy. Millennials’ lack of interest in mainstream nonprofits caused the American Red Cross to suffer its worst fundraising year in more than a decade in 2015. It seems that Millennials have completely changed the fundraising game and are presenting a crisis to nonprofits that are struggling to tap this younger market for donations. To help nonprofits earn the donations and devotion of Millennials, Adweek.com shared some ideas to gain the support of Millennials.
Giving Grows Up with Millennials
With previous generations of donors, nonprofit organizations found it easy to reach their fundraising goals through mass marketing efforts, brand loyalty, and workplace collection. But now that Millennials have come of age, these digital natives are choosing to directly support causes rather than donate through nonprofit organizations.
Millennials view charity in different ways than prior generations. They consider giving their time to be as valuable as giving a check.
Millennials are also very hands-on and experimental, so they want to volunteer, enlist others, and give their physical support. In addition to being more involved, they want to know the impact of their contribution and know how their support is helping.
A New Age of Philanthropy
While charitable giving has long been associated with wealthy philanthropists, Millennials are seeing role models like Mark Zuckerberg and their peers giving back and encouraging others to follow their lead.
And through their giving, Millennials are disproving their reputation as self-absorbed individuals and actually becoming one of the most socially conscious groups in recent history. In addition to wanting to be involved with something greater and more important than themselves, giving lets them connect on a social level with both causes and their like-minded peers.
Giving New Forms of Philanthropy a Chance
To reach Millennials, nonprofits need to find ways to engage these young adults and form honest relationships. The United Way is working to win over Millennials by getting involved in crowdfunding, which Millennials have made so popular.
The United Way’s 2015 “Restore Baltimore” campaign raised $570,000 through crowdfunding to help during the Baltimore protests. This crowdfunding effort was the first for the nonprofit, which had always earned donations through traditional marketing methods. The new approach captured the attention of Millennials and drew a great response.
In addition to crowdfunding, United Way has also introduced mobile giving and last year saw outstanding results. The nonprofit’s donation platforms used to be designed only for desktop, but a mobile platform taps into the mobile-minded Millennials. The organization is striving to get its partners to encourage mobile donations in the future.
Now, large nonprofits like the Red Cross, which had a $159 million deficit last year, need to embrace these modern marketing strategies to get Millennials to give them their support.
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Written by Michael Del Gigante