Millennials have a yearning desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. They thirst for community. But few belong to community groups and many question if they even have anything to contribute.
Meanwhile charities are facing a shrinking and increasingly fickle base of donors. They need to attract people to join together with them in their effort to make a difference. And they need to know how to keep their donors loyal.
This is a classic case of unmet need meets unfulfilled desire. The result? An incredible opportunity
Let’s dig into what we know about the millennial paradox.
On one hand, we know that three quarters (77%) of millennials want to “belong to something larger than their family and friends”. And most (56%) “really care about getting involved in causes”.
On the other hand, only one quarter (27%) are members of any kind of group, whether it be community, sport, religious or any other association.
What will it take to motivate millennials to band together?
The vast majority (71%) of millennials say they “need to have a deep personal connection to support a cause”. But we also know that 77% of donors to a charity donate once and then never again. Clearly there is a missed opportunity here – a failure to connect that leaves both parties frustrated and with unfulfilled desires.
This disconnect leads to the impoverishment of all involved. The traditional ways charities try to connect with millennials are clearly not working optimally – and for everyone’s sake, a connection needs to be made
There is a window of opportunity here, but it will not be open forever
We know from other research that the average age when people start to make firm decision about the charities they support on an ongoing basis is 35 – the age of the oldest millennials. This means there is more of an urgency to connect with your next generation of donors before their decisions are made – and it’s too late.
We believe that in order to better connect, people need to talk to each other. We believe community begins with conversation. That’s why we operate insight communities. They are the perfect forum to begin a conversation, in this case with millennials.
This is not a “one and done” exercise
We know from experience that solving this kind of puzzle involves an ongoing series of conversations. What is needed is an evolving discussion in which we ask, learn, listen, clarify and quantify. You can then use your community insight platform to co-create and test ideas and messaging on an ongoing basis. It gives members a voice and a reason to belong. It’s a process we have used successfully for hundreds of our clients – helping them solve a whole host of puzzles.
To learn more about the millennial paradox, read our infographic, and if you have any questions, please contact us.