Engaging Millennial Donors

Director of Communications & Programming, Catherine Lucchesi, was a featured panelist at AFP’s recent Fundraising Forward Training. She shared some key takeaways about engaging millennials in giving back:

1) There is a lot of noise about the millennial generation – being selfish, not caring about the community, being lazy etc. That cannot be further from the truth. In fact, 90% of millennials think that they can have an impact in the United States and make it a better place to live!

2) Millennials are passionate about supporting community projects; any kind of cause work that addresses the shared concerns of members of a defined community. Emphasizing how your mission affects the greater good is key to messaging & engaging young donors.

3) Think simple- all people young and old give back to the community because it feels good (donating releases several chemicals into your brain including dopamine and endorphins). You don’t always need to have your brand in line with the hippest trends or imagery. All people react best to photography and direct experiences.

4) We open our phones 85 times a day on average. Make sure content is mobile friendly!

5) Young donors are inundated and digital advertising. They value a handmade or handwritten piece of mail probably even more than an older donor. Handmade communications have a 99% open rate.

6) Millennials are more than 1/4 of our population and spend $200 billion annually – this population is not a group fundraisers can ignore as they look to the future.

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