How can your nonprofit station make successful donation appeals to millennials?

Engaging with millennials requires some unique strategies.
Date Published

No matter the topic, millennials bring unique considerations to the table. Much like Generation X before it, business and nonprofits alike have spent significant time, money and effort trying to learn more about this demographic and how to successfully appeal to it.

Some of that discussion is overblown. After all, millennials are still people. Many have somewhat different priorities in life than previous generations and may be more attached to digital technology, but they also have some similar motivations and reasons to get involved with nonprofits – like your station. Finding a balance between millennials and other age groups in your fundraising efforts is a key to success. Let’s consider a few pieces of more specific advice to make fundraising efforts targeting this especially large generation a success:

Be flexible
Millennials are still in a relatively young time in their collective lives, with the very oldest only partway through their 30s. The youngest are finishing up school or just starting to embark on a career path. They have a lot on their plates – and, in a distinct but similar vein, are used to having many sources of stimulation – so their ability to contribute to your radio station may not fall along traditional lines. While some millennials can give a substantial annual donation, many prefer or have to contribute in other ways.

“Be willing to consider what millennials want to offer to your organization.”

Nonprofit Hub said a major element of success in millennial outreach is giving these young people some leeway when it comes to donations, volunteering and contributions. Structure is good to steer volunteers toward the right tasks and to provide a framework for donations, but missing out on donations because they don’t match up with your nonprofit’s traditional workflow is often a shortsighted approach. Instead, be willing to adjust your processes and consider what millennials want to offer to your organization.

Using the right donation management software can help in this situation, allowing for more efficient management of donations – even when they come in small monthly installments or are irregular contributions spurred by a broadcast message or social media campaign. Similarly, a volunteer management system can aid nonprofit broadcasters in tracking volunteers and scheduling shifts that align with a variety of schedules.

Make broad-based outreach a priority
There will always be people who make significant donations to a single or small group of nonprofits. However, as Care 2 pointed out, a trend among millennials is to make a series of smaller contributions spread across a larger number of organizations. While you should never stop looking for large donors, understand that they may be rarer among this generation. When targeting millennials, try to develop broad efforts instead of approaches that are meant to reach a few potential donors of substantial means. Letting your audience know, whether on the radio, in social media or in another medium, that small donations are accepted and encouraged can help lead them to take action as well.

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