Attracting Young Donors

Higher Rewards
3 min readMay 28, 2021

As society changes, our approach to fundraising must change with it. Many current strategies are great at attracting older retirees, who may have a better idea of what they can financially contribute and have been committed to certain organizations for decades. However, as we enter a new age of activism, there are several changes we must make to get millennials and Gen Z-ers on our side.

Millennials are ready to become consistent donors. According to Library Strategies Consulting, 85% of millennials donated to a nonprofit or charity in 2016. The same article points to the increased use of social media and storytelling as a defining factor in this trend. It’s in the best interest of nonprofits to continue in this direction; millennials are projected to soon make up half of the workforce.

So how can we attract millennials and their younger counterparts in Generation Z? These three tips should set you on the right path.

Prioritize Cause and Storytelling

Younger generations prioritize committing to a cause rather than specific organizations. That means that specificity won’t be as necessary when trying to cater to these demographics. Stay updated on the conversation surrounding the cause you’re fighting for, and how to direct it towards donations for your organization.

The tradeoff with focus on cause over charity is that it can be difficult to get people to come back. However, making sure that your credibility is clear in your outreach will encourage people that you should be among the most trusted in your field. Focus on the results and how each donation leads to a specific difference.

You can also use younger people as ambassadors by creating a junior board. The best way to engage with younger donors is to find people like them. Make sure to work with members who are passionate and able to create a consistent, cohesive story.

Take Advantage of a New Focus on Activism

Generation Z doesn’t need to be convinced to care about a cause enough to donate to it. 59% of Gen Z-ers donate after seeing messaging on social media and 26% say they want to make the world better.

That first statistic is especially key since the recent criticism of “performative activism” by younger activists may be encouraging their peers to put their money where their mouths are. Make sure to mention how creating a direct impact through donations can be more or as meaningful than sharing posts about an issue.

The second statistic brings us back to the idea of incorporating more young people into your organization. Giving more opportunities to participate directly in an organization can create a meaningful connection which will encourage more donating.

Social Media and Consistency

Younger generations are more responsive to an up-to-date social media presence. We would definitely recommend sprucing up your social media pages. Next week, our blog will be covering how to make your social media more attractive to potential donors.

Beyond social media, your Internet presence should be defined to encourage consistent giving. 50% of millennials say they’d be willing to donate to an organization monthly. Set up a monthly donation system via your website.



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