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A Non-profit Guide to Engaging with Millennials

The key to engaging specific audiences is knowing what defines them and what motivates them. Tamara Erickson, a consultant and author of “Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work”, says millennials “think in terms of how to make sure that what they are doing is meaningful, interesting and challenging.”

This reality makes it a breeze to engage with millennials whether it’s in your newsletter, a press release, or a tweet. Here’s some more facts about millennials and some tips for engaging them:

They are open to giving

According to a survey undertaken by the Millennial Impact Project, a remarkable 93% of millennials gave to non-profit organizations in 2016. More than a fifth (21%) contributed at least $1,000 over the course of the year, 52% said they’d be interested in giving monthly, and 71% said they’d increase their donations if given the chance to match with other donors.

They like communication

Remember, these kids grew up with 24/7 connectivity. This is not a generation whose need for information and connection is going to be satisfied with an annual report. These young philanthropists are big fans of regular communication from the charities they give to. They want to know where their money went and what impact it had, so it’s important to thank, inform, and re-engage with them often. And be transparent—they’ll appreciate it.

In the Millennial Impact Project research, 43% say they want to hear from the organization monthly, preferably by email (93% nominated this as their preferred method of communication).

They want to be involved

It’s more than about just writing cheques for young people. The same research uncovered that the number-one cause-related millennial employees want to be part of is company-wide volunteer activities. Derrick Feldmann, a researcher for the Millennial Impact Project, said, “What motivates millennials is a desire to affect their cause through your organization with their friends.”

They want it to be on their own terms

As much as millennials are keen to participate in your cause, they want to do so on their terms. This means if you want their help, you’ll need to be prepared to be flexible.

They’re on social media

To understand millennials is to embrace the reality that they live much of their lives connecting through social media. So be present there! If you can get this cohort to fall in love with your cause, they’ll become social media brand evangelists for you. That’s big.

So be real, communicative and flexible. You’ll recruit the young folks and get them spreading the word about your cause in no time.


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