Research: Winning Youthful Influencers, Financial Support

Every generation of financial executives and fundraisers ponder the same question – how to get those young folks involved. In the same way that consumers want to be treated as individuals, it is more important than ever that nonprofits help younger Americans achieve their personal citizenship goals.

According to new research from ONE HUNDRED agency and Changing Our World, there are numerous methods of engaging the next generation of advocates, donors and potential influencers. You need to tell powerful stories, build trust through authenticity, create an engaging experience, secure funds and share stories of impact

For the 20-page report, “Understanding the Next Generation of Donors and How They Will Change The World,” researchers spoke for 15 minutes to a nationally projectable sample of participants including 304 Gen Z participants (ages 18-22), 696 Millennial participants, 312 younger Millennials (ages 23-31), and, 384 older Millennials (ages 31-38).

Based on the results, researchers concluded that “by leading with purpose and shared values, organizations can expand their donor base and enlist young donors to further amplify brand message and reach.” 

Researchers found five distinct donor personas: Generous at 26 percent; Loyal at 24 percent; Inactive at 23 percent; Donor at 19 percent; and, Impact at 8 percent. According to the study’s authors, the greatest opportunities for increasing engagement and donations lie with the personas who already donate and can be encouraged to support more causes more frequently.

Among the key takeaways from the research are:

  • More Gen Zers and Millennials have donated money in the past year than have volunteered time;
  • Even though most Gen Zers and Millennials have donated money, the amount and frequency with which they donate is still relatively low; 
  • To get young Americans invested in a cause, make a personal connection through personalized messaging related to the nonprofit’s values;
  • Authenticity and transparency are critical to gaining next gen support. An organization’s mission, values and effectiveness must be consistent in brand messaging and donor communications; and,
  • The user experience is important. Simplify online donation pages and make sure your organization’s site is mobile-friendly and on the cutting edge of using non-credit options like PayPal or Venmo (when it becomes available to nonprofits). 

Cracking the code of engaging younger donors is a challenge for nonprofits. To receive a copy of the research, go to https://bit.ly/2O3ZEIT