It’s no secret that there is a correlation between giving trends and generations.

The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, and GenXers are in their prime giving years. The longevity of their career and time in the workforce have allowed them to allocate savings, achieve senior level positions in their jobs, and achieve higher average gross incomes. So it makes sense that these groups tend to prioritize monetary giving as their primary means of contribution.

In contrast, younger generations such as Millennials have only recently entered the workforce and their financial means of contribution have not yet reached their peak. But don’t let that dissuade your organization from making engaging with them a priority!

Three Things You Need to Do to Engage with Millennials

Millennials are tech savvy and utilize social media to its full potential by sharing and retweeting specific causes that they care about – and their willingness to leverage the strength of their social reach can have a huge impact on the success of your events and peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.

1. Ignite Their Passion

The 2018 Blackbaud study, The Next Generation of American Giving, emphasizes that Millennials are choosing volunteering as their contribution of choice and place a higher value on advocacy than previous generations. This makes DIY, event, and peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns a great way to engage with Millennials, establish a long-term relationship with them, and garner their support for the future as they move further into their careers and achieve a better financial status.

What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About Millennials

2. Be Specific about How They Can Help

Marketing emails aimed at Millennial groups should include Call-to-Actions and emphasize the need for hands-on help. Most won’t pass up an opportunity to utilize their friends list to help a great cause.

3. Make Them Feel Seen

Research does support the fact that Millennials are more inclined to want recognition for the things they do. If you’re inclined to dismiss the desire for recognition as ‘Millennial entitlement’ – remember that donor acknowledgement is a fundamental piece of donor retention for donors of every age.

And consider the fact that if a Millennial feels recognized and receives genuine gratitude for his or her donation, there is a substantial chance that they will be a longtime supporter of that cause/organization.

For maximum impact, ‘Thank You’ emails should be as personal and as specific as possible.

Sound too good to be true? Trust me, it works.

As a Millennial myself, I personally can attest to the efficacy of these three steps working together.

After making a donation to a cause that I felt deserved my hard-earned $20, I received a very personal ‘thank you’ email that made me feel like my donation was actually going to help make a difference. In the email were several Call-to-Actions – and one happened to be an online fundraiser.

I shared that fundraiser with all my friends and helped raise some money for the organization. Unexpectedly, this organization sent me a package with another thank you letter and a t-shirt. I was thrilled, felt very recognized, and (just as you might suspect) I’ve worn that same t-shirt for over 10 years and continue to be one of their biggest supporters.

Be sure to include Millennials in your digital strategy. Their connectivity and diverse talents make them ideal advocates. Make them feel needed and when the time comes – they will become your most dependable and loyal donors.


Jake Miller has nearly a decade of nonprofit experience. As Client Success Manager here at Zuri Group, Jake has helped hundreds of clients with their P2P campaigns.



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