Millennials Aren’t Becoming Their Parents

July 22, 2013       Mark Hrywna      

Millennials prefer to connect via technology, share in “micro ways,” facilitate and rely on peer influence, volunteer along a continuum of support, and give to have an impact. Those are among the findings of the 2013 Millennial Impact Report, which also introduced a new Millennial Impact Benchmarks in its fourth edition.

The benchmarks outline three levels of millennial engagement:

  • Inviting: No matter its size or the resources at its disposal, every organization can adopt the strategies and culture changes to take the first step to connect and involve Millennials.
  • Immersion: Organizations that reach the benchmarks of this level have designed programs with Millennials, not just for them. At this stage, Millennials are actively participating in unique ways to help the cause enhance awareness and outreach efforts in the community.
  • The ultimate goal is to provide leadership, service and truly transformational opportunities for Millennials to affect the direction and impact the community.

The fourth annual report, sponsored by Achieve and the Case Foundation, was released last week at MCON, a conference about “mobilizing the millennial generation” hosted by the Indianapolis, Ind.-based creative agency.

The 2013 Millennial Impact Report includes responses from 2,665 individuals, surveyed between Feb. 1 and March 15. The study defines Millennials as anyone born between 1979 and 1994 (ages 23 to 29).

The top three motivations of Millennials for getting involved are passion (79 percent), meeting people (56 percent) and expertise (46 percent). Almost three-quarters of respondents (72 percent) said they’re interested in participating in a nonprofit young professional group.

More than four out of five respondents (83 percent) made a financial gift to an organization. In 2012, the single largest donation for 40 percent of respondents was between $1 and $50 compared with 23 percent who gave $51 to $100, so roughly 63 percent said their largest donation was $100 or less. More than half (52 percent) would be interested in monthly giving.

Nearly 70 percent of Millennials are willing to raise money on behalf of a nonprofit they care about and peer fundraising is “highly attractive,” with 64 percent fundraising for walk/run/cycling events. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) said they volunteered.

About 83 percent of Millennials have smartphones. Millennials prefer to share information about causes, not organizations, which “moves savvy organizations away from traditional PR and towards content expertise on a cause,” according to the report.

Almost half of respondents actively follow one to five organizations on social media. Millennials actively follow up to five organizations in social media but liking an organization may not mean they’re active followers, according to Derrick Feldman, CEO of Achieve.

More than 60 percent liked it most when nonprofits shared stories about successful projects or the people they help. Three-quarters of them like, retweet or share content on social media. The biggest website pet peeve for Millennials is when information has not been recently updated, according to the report. Make sure the website’s “About” section is easy to find, the organization’s purpose clear and center on your mobile homepage, and buttons are large enough so users can easily click on them.