The millennial generation – that’s anyone born between the early 1980s and early 2000s – is one of your best audiences as a nonprofit. Despite what stereotypes you’ve heard about them, many millennials are visionary and well-educated, not to mention tech-savvy. They are the risk-takers and many are trying to solve the problems of the world.

Consider a few stats from the 2012 Millennial Impact Report, a study that surveyed over 6,500 people between the ages of 20 and 35 all across the country:

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Millennials are getting involved and demanding to be taken seriously. And according to Forbes, by 2025, they will make up 75% of the workforce in the United States. The future of your nonprofit rests in the hands of this next generation and it’s time to learn how to reach them.

The key is to understand what channels will maximize your reach to these young adults. What story can you tell millennials about your nonprofit to get their attention? Millennials are interested in much more than simply checking a box and making an online donation. They want to actively engage with the organizations they are passionate about. Yes, this may mean online giving. But they also want to give through volunteering or crowdfunding or even just spreading the word on social media. They want to get involved and you want to make it easy for them! Here are a few tips that will help you better connect with millennials and build a sustainable future for your nonprofit:

1. Ask for what you need and explain why it matters

Millennials want to volunteer, but according to the Millennial Impact Report, 45% of those who didn’t volunteer said it was because they were simply never asked. Whether it’s by getting involved through volunteering or making an online donation, millennials understand that organizations need their support to be sustainable. Nonprofit fundraising is necessary, and millennials will give money to the causes they are passionate about… if you ask! And don’t stop there. In the study, the majority of those surveyed said that their single biggest pet peeve is when they don’t know how their gift will make a difference. If you’re asking for money, make sure the impact is loud and clear!

2. Make branding a priority

Charity and online fundraising aren’t necessarily “hip” in the minds of millennials and that’s why good design and branding can make a huge difference. Take cues from the for-profit industry and look at how some of the best companies create strong brands that immediately differentiate them in a world where thousands of images are vying for our attention every day.

Kindful Spotlight: Check out our partner, Plywood People. Their sleek website, concise language and compelling imagery creates a personality that is relatable and relevant to millennials. Their “what we do” page explains their mission through words and pictures that draw the millennial reader in and keep them engaged. (This is particularly important considering that a whopping 88% of people in the Millennial Impact Report said that the “about” page was the first thing they looked at on a nonprofit website!)

3. Be honest, be engaging, be real.

Along with branding, make sure that you engage millennial donors with your mission and vision for the work you do. A great way to do this through storytelling. The power of a good story lies in its ability to be honest about the issues you are addressing through your work, while inspiring readers to get involved and know that their support has an impact. This can be through social media, your website or even email marketing – however you reach your millennial donors, do it with a purpose to be engaging and authentic!