The most recent AFP eWire featured three short, but informative, articles on tapping into the power of Millennials. Nonprofits know this influential generational group is more “connected” than any of its predecessors. But, how can the estimated 92 million members of the Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2001) be motivated to effectively rally behind a cause?
The Millennial Impact Report by Achieve and Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates offers information on how members of the Millennial generation interact with their chosen causes. The report highlights the impact of technology, social media and various digital platforms on this generation of connected young adults. Bottom line: Millennials want to feel involved and part of a nonprofit, and, the earlier the better. Engaging Millennials as early as their teen years can help nonprofits begin the establishment of a life-long relationship. While the vast majority of Millennials are not yet able to give significant dollars, developing a relationship early on can pay dividends in the end. Today’s teen and young adult volunteers are tomorrow’s board chairs and major donors.
Not only do Millennials give, with 75% reporting they make personal donations, they fundraise! Impressively, “more than 70% of Millennials surveyed said they have raised money on behalf of nonprofits.” Millennials’ relationship with social media has revolutionized their ability to share information with their peers. Not only do they update their Twitter feeds to talk about their latest favorite restaurant, they reach out to their network to garner support for their favorite causes. For example, they broadcast their crowd-funding page for the local hospital’s 5K, or spread the word about volunteer opportunities at the animal shelter. Moreover, when they speak (or, tweet), their friends listen. Numerous studies show that online users are up to three times more likely to trust the opinions of their friends over advertisements or experts.
So, how can they be reached? It is important for nonprofits to use their time wisely to engage Millennials. The report recommends smaller nonprofits focus their energy on only one or two social networks, versus spreading themselves too thin across a variety of outlets. A Millennial’s biggest turn off is when they do not know how the money they donate is being used. Therefore, it is important to communicate well with this group to earn their trust, their time and eventually, their dollars.
Here are some quick stats on how Millennials prefer to learn about nonprofits:
• Website: 65%
• Social Media : 55%
• E-Newsletters: 47%
• Print: 18%
• Face to Face: 17%
As you can see, it is heavily skewed to online and digital communication. For the full study, visit the Millennial Impact Report’s website.