How charities can fundraise from tech-savvy Millennials

We give a few tips on how charities can steer their fundraising strategy towards the tech-savvy, always-online Millennial generation.

Raabia Fazil | 27th Sep 19

Known for their avocado toast, cool glasses and sometimes labelled utterly ludicrous hipsters, the Millennial generation, born between 1980 and 1995, make up the second largest generation next to Baby Boomers with nearly 13.8 million millennials in the UK .

Despite the stereotypes, they are a group for charities to ignore at their peril. Millennials spend the most cash online. And according to Blackbaud, Millennials donated 30% of the total amount given to charity this year (£2.7bn), making them the largest donor cohort in the country. If your fundraising is aimed strictly at the older crowd, it may be worth a rethink.

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So how can charities start aiming their fundraising efforts towards this younger cohort? Millennials value progress and their charity engagement is embedded in their online experience, offering suggestions to help you find fundraising gold.

What inspires millennials to donate? They believe in a better world. Millennials:

  • Are tech-savvy and rapidly adapt to new tech
  • Regularly post reviews online and consider others’ reviews
  • Trust personal experience and authentic views over corporate comms

 

Get mobile

Understanding which channels your donors prefer is vital as the sheer number available can overwhelm and put them off.

We reported on Blackbaud’s research that 92% of Millennials and Gen Z (born after 1995) would give via a mobile device. So be like Netflix and ensure smooth processes to help millennials support your charity with just a couple of taps. 75% of millennials used a mobile phone to research issues so fundraising campaigns must use mobile apps and online platforms.

Millennials spend over 26 hours a week consuming media, six of them on social media. 39% of Millennials and Gen Z research charities via social media, so invest in a strong social media presence to grab them. Campaigns on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook reach Millennials much faster than snail mail and they could discover your latest campaign when waiting for their Deliveroo to arrive.

 

Millennial values

Millennials seek and value experiences. Shaking up your strategy and moving from traditional fundraising events like posh dinners to experiences may raise more interest. Host a 5k run, a bake off, karaoke or a dance to make fundraising fun by opening up your charity to donors. Such events boost your profile, as Millennials tend to tweet or post photos of themselves participating.

Try offering volunteering opportunities as Millennials prefer giving time instead of money and like the personal touch, so invite them in to help out. By getting to know your charity personally and getting involved in your mission, they will feel more comfortable donating in the future.

Encourage them to join in with campaigns to reach more supporters. Create peer-to-peer fundraisers and support donors to take ownership by supplying graphics and content that are easy to share. Offer to mentor and don’t micromanage! Including donors in fundraising helps amplify your campaigns and raise engagement.

When we roll our eyes, mumbling ‘typical’ and scroll on, we mean it. In a culture of charities losing trust and beset by scandals, the Guardian have reported that Millennials are more likely to research charities before giving. The Charity Commission said it was important to research the target of donations as there have been concerns following the Grenfell tragedy. Two months after Grenfell, only £2.8m of the £18.9m collected for survivors had reached them.

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Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “This research shows…young people give generously, but also that they are more likely to make basic checks before giving to their chosen charity than people from their parents’ generation.” Transparency helps donors see how their donations are helping your cause and can help fortify your reputation.

Lastly, The Guardian also found that young people give much more at Christmas so you can benefit from seasonal interest in campaigns as John Lewis et al have shown. You could start to tap into autumnal coziness right now as Millennials clutch their cherished pumpkin spice lattes.

Blackbaud’s study suggests focusing on retention and actively seeking feedback from donors instead of speculating about their behaviour. Post on preferred platform(s) to get real feedback and empower your charity to embrace these big-giving ‘snowflakes’ and their support.

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