What Young Donors Respond to Today: Part I

Young people under age 35 want to give to charity – by donating either their money or their time. But many nonprofit organizations are not approaching the huge Millennial generation correctly, according to The Millennial Impact Report, a new study by Achieve that all nonprofit leaders should read. More than 2,600 respondents, most college graduates, were surveyed in early 2013.

Young people are not interested in institutions or structures, the study found. They are interested in people, and they want to know how their contributions will help people.

The majority of Millennials give either time or money to up to five causes that they are passionate about. They may not give much – 40 percent give up to $50 and another 23 percent give up to $100. But 52 percent said they are interested in monthly giving.
Members of the Millennial generation are socially conscious and are passionate about their causes. They also see volunteer opportunities as a chance to socially connect with like-minded people.

Tip #1: The Importance of Your Website

The Millennial generation wants to learn about charities online – almost exclusively. And they want the information to be readable and easily accessible on their smartphones. Nonprofit organizations should think mobile first when trying to reach the younger generation.

Millennials are turned off when a charity’s website is outdated or the information is not presented in a way that interests them. Another of their major pet peeves is infor¬mation that is missing or not available on mobile sites. Young donors frequently act on impulse when they see a compelling message.

How can nonprofits retool their websites to make them more appealing to younger donors? The research recommends:

  • Simplify the message on the homepage. Limit wording and use large text. Make your message more succinct, focusing on how the charity helps people. This generation wants to know that their contribution matters . . . and what it will achieve.
  • Use a photo of someone being helped by the charity on the homepage. Show a success story.
  • Make it clear how to get involved with your organization -sign a petition, volunteer time, attend an event.
  • Be sure to include a way to donate on the homepage.
  • Make buttons large so they can be seen easily on a smartphone.

Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assisting nonprofits, individuals and businesses with tax and accounting services in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].

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