Is Your Charity Ready For The Millennials?

millennials and charity

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Millennials are the future of charitable giving.

We know this based on the academic literature, and our proprietary research. While they are still building their earning power, the impressions and experiences millennials have today will shape the future of philanthropy.

The latest statistics reveal that 84% of millennials already donate an average of $481 annually across 3.3 charities. Now is the moment to connect with millennials and build a rapport that will last a lifetime.

We work with charities across North America and connecting with millennials is the burning question on everyone’s mind. What makes it challenging to build connections with millennials is that—when it comes to charity—they think and act differently, and they have alternative expectations. What worked well with baby boomers and Gen X will not work with millennials.

That’s why we wrote The Future of Giving: Are you ready for the millennials?. Our whitepaper outlines the challenges and opportunities facing charities today, including learnings that will better equip your organization to survive and thrive.

It is time to rethink your millennial outreach strategies to engage this charitable demographic.

Millennials Are Digital Natives

For starters, millennials lead digital lives. That means that direct mail is something quaint that they only see opened at their grandparent’s house. They are conditioned to put it directly into the recycling bin, unopened and unnoticed. And they don’t watch television, they consume content.

They expect to connect digitally, often through social media. And that connection is two way. They don’t just consume postings, they like it, post it, comment on it and share with their friends. And your online content better be mobile friendly, otherwise millennials will skip it—much of their online activity is mobile.

That means your online and social media presence can’t simply be a recycling of your offline campaign. It needs to be tailor-made and mobile friendly. But a slick digital presence is not enough either. To be effective, the content must speak to the needs and desires of millennials when it comes to charitable giving.

Millennials Care About Causes, a Lot

Millennials are different: they care more. They feel more of a responsibility to make the world a better place. They describe themselves as generous, and they are concerned about the entire planet—a world without borders.

They want their donations to be personal. More than older generations, they want a sense of personal connection with those they are helping. And they need to understand the impact their actions are having. 

Challengingly, they prefer spontaneous giving and are unafraid to switch charities if they feel needs change. They have different expectations about loyalty and consistency than other generations.

Leverage Insight Into Millennial Characteristics

Clearly, millennials are not operating from the same playbook as older generations. Understanding them is the key to future success for charities. We have found that building online communities works well with millennials because they facilitate the kind of ongoing discussion that millennial donors love. They appreciate the interactive dialogue communities enable because they see that their voice is heard and that their input makes a difference.

Because millennials are particularly focused on emotional connections with brands, we find that our Connection Compass program is particularly effective for charities. It’s a proprietary method designed to help you reach more donors, and better understand what messages will work and connect with millennial in ways that build loyalty.

We surveyed over 1,500 millennials for insight into their attitude towards charitable giving. To learn more about how your charity can better understand and connect with millennials, download our whitepaper: The Future of Giving: Are You Ready For The Millennials?

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