The Impact of Millennials on Nonprofits

By QuickBooks Canada Team

2 min read

Millennials are reshaping the way you interact with your nonprofit supporters. Before, nonprofits often reached donors, volunteers, and others connected to their cause through transactional interactions like emails, phone calls, and mail. Millennials – the generation born between 1981 and the early 2000s – are shifting the dynamic within nonprofits. Find out how millennials are fundamentally changing how your nonprofit operates, engages, raises funds, and more.

A Focus on Connections

Millennials are looking to make connections with friends, companies, and nonprofits. While many of these connections occur in-person, it’s also common for them to happen online. As this generation continues using social media to link with the people and brands they love, more nonprofits now meet these eager, dedicated donors and volunteers where they are. Nonprofits commonly set up two or more social media accounts to connect with millennial supporters. Likewise, nonprofits take those online connections one step further by getting those supporters to bring their own friends and family into that relationship through peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding efforts. By focusing on connecting online, nonprofits ensure they establish an online relationship with current supporters and with those supporters’ networks.

The Desire to Understand Impact

Millennials don’t just want to donate; they want to effect change through that donation. Therefore, a simple thank-you rarely does the trick with this generation. Instead, nonprofits adapt by sharing impact-related data year-round and across multiple media, such as email newsletters, YouTube videos, and other forms of social media. In fact, 25% of millennials prefer communications about donation impact above anything else. Nonprofits do the following to show millennial donors the impact of their gifts:

  • Share detailed annual reports with all supporters.
  • Post statistics on websites and social media profiles about a donor’s return on investment.
  • Keep Guidestar and Charity Intelligence profiles updated with current details on impact.

A little information goes a long way to encourage millennials to give and engage with a nonprofit.

The Need to Engage

Millennials want to engage with causes they care about. Engagement doesn’t just mean donating; it also means getting involved on a deeper level. To adapt, nonprofits offer the following opportunities for millennials to interact with their causes:

  • Provide networking opportunities for millennials donors to connect.
  • Offer millennial-oriented volunteer options.
  • Implement board-readiness programs where current board members mentor future leaders over the course of a year.
  • Run peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and recruit millennials to raise funds on behalf of the nonprofit.

Many millennials don’t yet have the funds to support major gifts, but they can give their time. Interestingly, those between the ages of 15 and 19 are the demographic most likely to volunteer for a cause.

A Need for Inspiration

Millennials are eager to get involved, but they often reserve that involvement for nonprofits that inspire and motivate them to act. Therefore, it isn’t just about asking millennials to give, volunteer, share, repost, fundraise, and so on. Nonprofits must emotionally connect millennial donors to their work through storytelling in the form of powerful images, videos, and written stories that convey the scope of impact. Millennials simply want to connect with nonprofits, and nonprofits are working hard to adapt their own strategies to match those needs.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

Related Articles

Recruiting and Hiring Top Talent on a Nonprofit Budget

Recruiting the right personnel for your nonprofit organization can be achieved without…

Read more

Employee Roadmap: The Importance of Career Development Plans for Your Staff

Developing your staff is as important as developing your business, especially if…

Read more

How AI and machine learning are tipping the odds in favour of Canadian small businesses

Canadians are embracing the potential AI holds to improve their lives, and…

Read more