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Engaging the Donors of our Future

Also known as Gen Y, the Millennial Generation is growing up to be a force to be reckoned with, and like previous generations, they’re doing things quite differently. Born from 1980 to 2000 and considered digital natives, Millennials are also the largest and most educated generation in history. There are about 2.5 billion Millennials globally; which is about one third of the population, so they are not to be ignored.

The Millennial Impact Project is a collaboration initiative between a few institutions, one of whom is the Case Foundation, an organisation that invests in people and ideas that change the world. Since 2009, the Project aims to answer a question that most charities are asking themselves:

How does the Millennial generation connect with, get involved with and support causes?

Their most recent report highlights the top findings from the last five years of their research with over 35,000 Millennials and I’ve included a snap shot of what I thought are some of the key points here.

Inspire and connect
Getting to connect with the beneficiaries of their service motivates Millennials.
Life isn’t about the money you make, it’s about what you do with your life to impact others.

Earn their trust
84% of Millennial respondents said they are most likely to donate when they fully trust an organization, and 90% said they would stop giving if they do not trust an organization.

Offer a regular giving program
Over half of respondents said they’d be interested in monthly giving.

GenerationYEncouraged by matched giving
More than 70% said they would be likely to give if they could increase their impact by seeing their gifts matched by another donor.

Peer to peer is vital
Nearly 70% of Millennials surveyed are willing to raise money on behalf of a nonprofit they care about.

Up to date websites are important
Millennials overwhelmingly showed they prefer to donate online. Nearly 9 out of 10 of Milliennials will first go to the page that describes the mission of the organisation, when visiting a charity’s website, but the biggest turnoff for over two-thirds of respondents was when information hadn’t been updated recently.

Make sure you are emailing them
Email is Millennial donors’ most preferred communication method, with 93% of respondents favouring it for receiving information from organisations.

Giving will grow
If trends suggested by this study hold true, Millennials will become even more generous over time. 40% of respondents said they expect to give more in 2011 than in 2010, while more than half said they would give the same in 2011 as in the past year. Increases in giving correlate to age, as the survey results show higher levels of giving and numbers of organizations supported as donors age: Millennials aged 30-35 gave significantly more in 2010 than donors aged 20-24 or 25-29

“When I donate, I want it to be about being part of something rather than just feeling sorry for someone.”

While most Millennials are between the ages of 15 and 35 years old and are not all quite in our donor target market yet, over the next 10-20 years they will be. So let’s start to shift our thinking and use information presented in reports like this, which can be downloaded by clicking on the image to the right, to help us better engage our future donors.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.


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