Skip to content

7 Tips for Nonprofits to Reach Millennials

The millennial generation is an 80-million strong group born between 1982 and 2000, and it already exceeds the baby boomers in size and influence. They are now the largest generation in the workforce and the largest force in philanthropic and cause-related efforts in the US. So, no matter what the goal of your nonprofit is today, effective marketing to millennials is absolutely essential to reaching your goals.

At TopRight, we’ve identified a few quick tips to help you engage more effectively with millennials. Putting these tips into action will help you motivate more millennials to advocate, volunteer and donate more to support your non-profit mission. Check out these actionable marketing tips to reach and engage millennial volunteers and donors:

1. Build an Emotional Relationship

Nonprofit success depends on the relationships you develop with your target audience. So, how do you build emotional relationships with your millennial donors?

Millennials appreciate transparency, so show donors the impact they’re making. Showing the impact helps donors understand how their donations are being used. You could hold events in your community to raise awareness for your organization or promote events on social media to reach more people.

Involve your audience by sharing stories of people who have benefited from the organization. You can also ask donors to share their stories if they have personally benefited from your work.

Create content on your website or social media on the impact your nonprofit has created. Even after you receive donations, connect with your audience on social media, ask them what brought them to your organization and why the still have an interest.

“Millennials are savvy enough to know the difference between what’s real and fake. Building an honest and up-front relationship that is not agenda driven, is likely to work in your favour.”

– Ruban Selvanayagam of residential / commercial property sales + auction company in London

2. Have a Clear Goal

What is your organization’s mission? What type of donors are you trying to reach? What kind of fundraising budget do you need to help reach your goals? How will you get attention for your cause? These are some questions you want to answer when you create your marketing strategy. Having a clear marketing plan can make all the difference for meeting your fundraising goals.

It’s important to tackle only one goal at a time. Focusing on more than one goal can mean you stretch yourself thin. 

And you’ll want to set realistic goals. All organizations would love to raise $10M but this may not be realistic if you’re a small organization with a small team. Look back at previous fundraising campaigns and aim to slightly exceed the amount you raised.

And set a timeframe for goals. This makes it easier to track your progress.

3. Use Social Media to Reach More Donors 

It’s estimated that 72% of adult millennials in the U.S. use some form of social media, usually spending over 2 hours a day on the platforms, so you have a great chance of finding people willing to join your cause through this medium.

Using social media can also help increase donor attention for your nonprofit. You can use Facebook ads and schedule these to run when your target audience is online, and you can do this for a relatively low price.

Facebook has an advanced location targeting option and with this you can target users in certain locations. Snapchat and Instagram work very well for making videos of your nonprofit, providing the public with a memorable picture of your efforts to help the poor or grow and provide fresh food from your local gardens.

You can also use social media to:

  • engage your audience.
  • answer questions about your organization.
  • post case studies of who you’ve helped as social proof.

Choosing the most appropriate strategy and approach to your social media presence is vital. Find out where your audience hangs out and go from there.

4. Show Off Your Progress 

Celebrate the progress your nonprofit makes with regards to your mission and the impact of your work, and show people you’re effective and proud of all you’ve accomplished. Remember, people are donating because you convinced them to support your cause and they’ll be more likely to donate again if they can see the impact of their donations.

Displaying your progress on your website with graphs, charts, or other visuals is a good way to show this. Having a donation meter on your donation page can also demonstrate your progress towards fundraising goals.

5. Know Your Audience

The success of your nonprofit organization depends on knowing and understanding your target audience. How do you find your target audience?

Think carefully about your goals and mission statement and whether you are raising funds, finding shelter for the homeless, or raising awareness. Whatever your mission, find advocates for your cause.

A few simple methods to find and engage your target audience can include :

  • sending out a short survey through email or social media.
  • running a poll for your members.
  • using website analytics to see who visits your website.
  • using donor management tools to track your donations source.

The information you’ve gathered will help you figure out who your audience is and why they chose to support you. You can also pay attention to your secondary market. This audience may be interested in your secondary goals, so it’s smart to address them too, while keeping your main focus on your target audience.

6. Update Your Website

Having a strong online presence creates greater awareness for any organization. Strong copy is important for this. Your copy needs to speak to your audience and build an emotional connection with them. Images, videos, and infographics help keep readers interested and show the impact of your nonprofit’s work. Have an easy to use online donation process on your website, so that donors can give easily.

Regularly updating your organization’s blog can keep donors up-to-date on:

  • fundraising progress.
  • recent news.
  • progress towards goals.

Blogs also have the added bonus of raising your search engine ranking. You can optimize your blogs and web copy to reach new donors.

Ease of access is another important step when updating your website. You want site visitors to flow through your website easily. For this, you can create internal links that take visitors seamlessly from one page to the next. With a few small changes, your site can engage more potential donors.

7. Remember to Say Thank You 

Your donors give from the kindness of their hearts, and showing them how much you appreciate their support can build stronger relationships. But it doesn’t have to be a big involved production. Saying thank you can involve:

  • sending automated and personalized thank you emails.
  • featuring a donor in an article or video.
  • giving donors a call to say thank you.
  • sharing your impact so donors know how they’re making a difference.
  • sending them a small gift such as a gift certificate.

Whatever the goal of your nonprofit, you need a clear plan of action to reach more donors. But no matter what plan you use, you’ll get more from it if you’re reaching out to the right audience through the right channels at the right time.

If you’d like to receive a steady flow of great marketing tips like this, please follow me @TopRightPartner, connect with me on LinkedInsubscribe to our blog, or buy a copy of my latest book, Marketing, Interrupted.

Elevate Your Brand With Topright — Where Strategic Insights Fuel Success

Let's Talk