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How to Get Millennials to Contribute to Your Fundraising Campaign?


Millennials are one of the most preferred demographics for several brands. What they do, how they react, and why do they take specific actions, influence a lot of advertising and product launch decisions made by brands. And this holds true for non-profits as well. The demographic is giving a new twist to charitable causes, and therefore, they need to be wooed in a completely different manner than other generations. 

The following statistics echo this point aptly:

  • 40% of Millennial donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program.
  • 84% of Millennials give to charity, donating an annual average of $481 across 3.3 organizations

The numbers are impressive. The pressing question is not only about getting the horse to the water but also how to make it drink. So, how do you ensure that the millennial demographic contributes to your fundraising campaign?  

Here’s a primer on getting started. 

Create a Non-Profit Website 

Growth of online channels is the biggest turning point in how charities are taking place. Millennials donors, for instance, know their way in the digital world and fundraising websites are the perfect platform for them. For this purpose, create a non-profit website using the best features and functionalities. It will serve as a default location where they can learn more about your organization, the cause/campaign, and make an informed decision. On the website, make it a point to give them multiple payment options so that they can take their pick and donate without any hassle. Once you have a website ready, it is time to move on to other crucial steps that can be a part of wooing millennial donors.

Build Relationships 

Millennials love it when you build authentic relationships with them as a brand. Take the case of Chipotle, which has the message of love in one of its campaigns when it hit the lows one year. The campaign helped the target audience connect with the brand and understand its key values by tugging some emotional strings. The same holds true for fundraisers as well. You pull their emotional strings, and they will loosen their purse strings! 

So, think about what will make the campaign click with millennials? It is all about getting them to rally around your cause because they feel a connection. And what better way to establish a connection with your target audience than create stories

Personalization is the Key Factor

Millennials love personalization. Period. 

The best example of personalization is that of Netflix, which uses an algorithm to offer curated lists of series, documentaries, and movies to users based on their preferences. This helps them cater to an audience with varying tastes. 

The same can be applied to fundraising campaigns. 

A generic appeal of donations will never make the cut, but personalized, unique ones will definitely do. To begin with, tailor the “ask” based on who the donor is, based on research. Next up, focus on choosing and using the right words on the website as well as your outreach communication. The gist is to keep the communication clear and succinct - No bells and whistles. 

This should do the trick not just for millennials, for other demographics as well!

Experiences Count 

Who doesn’t like a bit of experience? Millennials tend to like it a bit more. They crave novelty and find happiness by indulging in activities. Therefore, investing in materialistic entities features low on their priority list (or not at all). This is the reason why Airbnb is targeting the audience by making them indulge in experiences with its Live There campaign. 

The Polished Man campaign is an apt example where donors are intrigued by a unique experience. It required the participants to paint their nails in order to start a conversation about the cause (end violence against children). This got the donors to know about the cause and donate. 

Persuade them via Emails

According to Statista, in 2017, global e-mail users reached 3.7 billion. This figure is going to grow to 4.1 billion users in 2021. Moreover, it offers a median RoI of 122%, topping various other marketing formats. 

That said, emails done right can effectively persuade millennials to donate. Some of the ways to go about this include:

  • Having an appealing subject line that makes them open the email
  • Crafting impactful copy that makes the readers think and engage with the email
  • Keeping it short and have a clear CTA (call-to-action)
  • Including visuals and links to important information for the users 

Go for P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Fundraising 

Almost every millennial must have come across Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. It is widespread on social media platform Facebook, which has a unique charitable giving tool

Take a cue from the social media biggie and attract millennials with P2P Fundraising option on your website. It resonates with that generation and therefore, sparks interest. And yes, before asking for donations in this manner, don’t forget to share the back story and why should they care. 

Also, using real pictures and videos instead of stock photography is another way to pique their interests and add to the credibility of the campaign. Don’t forget to go for a countdown, show statistics of the number of donations and the goal to be reached. You get the drift!

Tell Them Where the Money Went 

Aka, be transparent. 

Millennials value honesty above anything else. They will want to know where their money is going to before they hit that donation button. Tell them how you are going to use their money, show the allocation of the funds, especially by elaborating how it is going to solve issues. 

Think of Toms Shoes, which is built on a philanthropic cause (one-for-one). The shoe company is based on the idea of donating a pair of shoes to the unprivileged whenever someone makes a purchase. It has a dedicated section on its website explaining about the cause to the donors, the impact made. 

By satisfying their need for being informed about the difference the campaign will create, is going to help you get more donations. 

Ask Them to Volunteer

64% of the millennials volunteer locally, 9% internationally. Play the card and ask them to volunteer as many times; the regular volunteers also become the most consistent donors for various campaigns. It is all about being in the field, working towards the cause. This will keep them engaged and therefore, build a lasting connection with the cause. 

Above Everything Else, Start a Social Media Revolution

All said and done, remember the fact that millennials monitor social media closely. When they come across charitable causes, they either participate in it or spread the word with their connections. Either way, it helps the cause. 

The biggest example of a social media revolution in recent times is that of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Not only an astounding number of participants poured ice water over themselves to support those affected by ALS, several of them also donated to the cause. All you need is to create a hashtag, come up with a unique idea for running the social media campaign, and tie it to the cause. 

What do you think about these tips to get more contributions to your fundraising campaign?

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