Image from World Bank Photo Collection (flickr)
There’s no shortage of names for them: millennials, Generation Y, echo boomers. No matter what you choose to call them, it’s a well-known fact that they’re highly sought after by organizations who want them to care about their cause.
In an age of Yelp and Zagat, it’s never been easier to make choices between what restaurant, hair salon, or store will best suit your needs, and the same applies to nonprofits. Millennials will do their research to find the nonprofits they want to commit their time and money to. With many different organizations catering to this generation, here’s what you can do to attract them to your cause.
Make Your Information Accessible
A Big Duck survey found that 18-34-year-olds had some of the highest levels of awareness of organizations, large or small and across a variety of sectors. There were also more likely than any other age groups to say an organization’s mission statement was very or extremely important. Millennials are doing their research to find the cause they want to volunteer their time and money to. Take advantage of this by making your information accessible.
Keep your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile up to date. The more information you provide, the higher the seal your profile will receive (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). The higher your profile’s seal level, the more likely your organization will stand out from the others. You can also add images to your GuideStar profile to better capture the culture of your organization and make it easier for millennials to picture if volunteering for your organization will be a right fit for them.
Clarify Your Cause
The Millennial Impact Report revealed millennials care more about supporting causes rather than specific organizations. If you’re looking for millennials to donate time or money to your organization, get them to support your case and you’re more than halfway there.
You don’t have to worry too much about selling your organization to millennials. If you create a presence on social media that furthers your cause and it’s a cause they support, they’ll share it with their friends. While they spread the news about your organization by word-of-mouth, engage with them on social media and build a relationship that encourages them to volunteer.
Utilize Social Media
Millennials are known for their engagement online and on social media, so make sure your organization has a strong presence across a variety of platforms. According to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, online donations grew 9.2 percent in 2015, compared to the 1.6 percent growth of overall charitable donations, showing millennials are changing how and where people give. The oft-quoted advice in advertising is to “go where your audience is,” but why restrict that to advertising? Go to where your audience is, promote your cause there, and while you’re at it, fundraise there as well.
Facebook recently announced Charitable Giving, where Facebook users can create a fundraising page to benefit a nonprofit of their choice. These pages will link to yourGuideStar profile, so users and friends can learn more about your cause. Keep your profile updated and encourage followers and volunteers to promote your organization on social media.
Maintain the Relationship
Once you have engaged with a donor or volunteer, remember the same qualities that brought them to your organization in the first place and respect their desire to be well-informed. Be consistent with your communication and simplify volunteer registering and scheduling. Engaging with donors, regardless of age, is an ongoing process. Whether you connect with them through emails, mobile apps, or text messages, creating a consistent and reliable volunteer process is a successful way to engage volunteers.
This is the generation that uses Yelp and Zagat to do their research. Once they’ve done their research and chosen an organization to donate to, a positive experience can result in a positive review. Either on social media or by word-of-mouth, loyal donors and volunteers will spread the word about your organization’s cause, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay in the forefront of their minds.
The preceding is a cross-post by Abbie Wade from the VolunteerHub blog. Abbie is a communications coordinator for GuideStar. She is currently a junior at The George Washington University, studying Journalism & Mass Communication and Political Science.