Blog Article

Why and How to Appeal to Millennial Donors

Millennials are often stereotyped as lazy, entitled, and self-absorbed. But, did you know that they’re actually more likely to support causes compared to older generations? And soon they’re going to make up more than half of the workforce.

What does this mean exactly? This means that millennials are gaining increasing spending power, and they’re more than willing to share their wealth with causes they care about. Millennials are going to have a major impact on the future of philanthropy, and nonprofits should take notice.


Here's why your charity should care about millennial donors:


Who are Millennials and why do we care?

Who are millennials? The short answer to this question is, it depends on who you ask. It’s generally accepted that millennials, sometimes called Generation Y, are born between the years 1980 and 1994. Basically, the youngest millennials are in their mid-twenties, and the oldest are entering their forties. They’re characterized as having grown up with technology; or in other words, they’re digital natives, who spend a significant amount of time using technology and social platforms.

Despite the fact that most millennials are burdened with student debt, earn less than their older counterparts, and feel financially unstable, they are still idealistic and generous with their limited time and money. In fact, a rising number of millennials regularly donate to nonprofits, with over 80% of millennials currently donating to nonprofits on a regular basis. Although older, more affluent generations donate a higher dollar value per person, the large numbers and increasing influence of millennials make them a significant donor group.

Millennials are also more likely to support businesses that they view as socially responsible. Research has shown that millennials are 37% more likely to purchase a product that supports a cause, and they’re willing to pay 30% more for the product compared to a product without a cause.

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s obvious that nonprofits need to adjust their outreach strategies to appeal to millennial donors.


How do you capture a Millennial’s attention?

Since we’re all surrounded by technology and marketing clutter, there’s a lot of competition for potential donors’ attention and support. It’s important to make sure your message stands out and has a clear call-to-action.


1. Storytelling

Millennials want to feel a connection with the cause. Telling a concise yet compelling story is a great way to illustrate the current situation and show how your donors’ support will help.

Although facts are important and measurable, people will remember and connect more with stories. For example, rather than giving statistics about poverty, try telling a story about a donation that micro-financed a business and empowered a woman to care for her family and give back to her community.

And, don’t forget to follow up with your donors and tell them about the results and impact of your fundraising campaign.


2. Leverage Social Media

Make your fundraising campaigns shareable on social media. Building your nonprofit’s social media presence with shareable campaigns and short digestible content makes it easy for your donors to spread your message. This is a great way to leverage your donors’ connections and bring in more donations for your campaign.


3. Let them donate how they want

Finally, give millennials multiple ways to donate. Make it easy for them to donate online and in person. With a reported 63% of millennials going cashless, being able to accept debit and credit donations at events is becoming increasingly important. Need more reasons your charity shouldn’t only be accepting cash?


What about Generation Z?

Generation Z is the generation after millennials, born after 1995. While they are young, they are even more passionate about supporting causes compared to older generations. They have grown up in the age of social media, where their exposure to numerous social issues has fueled their awareness of and desire to engage with causes.

Although this generation is careful with money and doesn’t have the same spending power as older generations (yet), they are very likely to donate and stay involved.

What does this mean for nonprofits?

  • Continue to communicate through social media and create short snackable content
  • Create video content
  • Communicate with concise and authentic messages



Adèle Richardson

Adèle Richardson

Adèle est créatrice de contenu marketing chez Paystone. Elle aime les chats, raffole des bons repas et est adepte de randonnée.