Attracting and engaging a younger audience is a challenge for the majority of nonprofits. Most charities are interested in cultivating young donors, but they are afraid to spend too much time and financial resources doing so.
There is risk involved when communicating with any audience, (and the younger demographic is no different,) but as nonprofits in today’s complex world, we need to take chances. We need to embrace the fact that over 80% of millennials donate to a charity. They have a heart for mission and want to make an impact in the world around them.
In fact, millennials are adopting the principles of “Impact Investing” more than any other generation. Fidelity Charitable found that 77% of affluent millennials made an Impact Investment compared to 30% of affluent boomers.
However, if your current methods of finding young donors are less effective than you would like, you’re not alone. The following ideas can give you a place to start:
Create a junior board
Forming a board of young professionals can help give your organization insight in how to appeal to the younger generation. Not only can you benefit from their insight, but you can also cultivate them as a group of advocates to their young peers. They will appreciate the chance to be hands-on and involved in your organization’s work.
Use more video content
Video content is the best-performing type of content on all social channels, grabbing users’ attention more than text or images. Video is a great way to tell your story, demonstrate your impact, and present your charity as personable and authentic to young people.
Additionally, you can create thank you videos to demonstrate the visible impact that your donors have helped accomplish. If videos are done well and are compelling, donors are likely to share them to family and friends, generating greater awareness of your organization.
Ensure your online content is current
Younger generations access everything online. The internet is the place they communicate with friends, consume news, order food, shop, and even transfer money to each other for their latest coffee run. If these online-savvy potential donors go to your website or social media channels and find them outdated or boring, it’s a major turnoff. There are some vital elements that your page should have, including easily accessible donation buttons, images that are not stock photos, and a mailing list signup form that is front-and-center. Visitors should not have to dig to find important information.
When trying to engage younger donors, remember they are more than just a faceless demographic. They are individual people, just like you, who care about others and want to make the world a better place. Being authentic and demonstrating what your organization does to change the world will attract them. The opposite is also true – if your charity comes across as presumptuous, vague, and showy in your communication you will turn the younger audience off. They’ll simply go somewhere else, believing “you don’t get them”.