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Here Come the Millennials

By Nell Edgington



mcon blog_smLast Thursday was the 4th annual Millennial Impact Conference (MCON#13) hosted by the Case Foundation and Achieve, a fundraising agency specializing in Millennial donor engagement. The conference is an opportunity to analyze the Millennial generation (ages 20-33) and how they think about and engage in social change.

Because the Millennial generation is so large and they are coming of age in a time when technology and how we communicate are changing so rapidly, they will have a big effect on the sector.

As part of MCON, Achieve annually releases a study on the philanthropic interests of the Millennial generation. Their online survey of over 2,500 Millennials (and in-person user videos of 100 Millennials) found some interesting things about how this generation connects, gets involved and gives. And their findings seem to echo earlier studies about Millennial donors and their interest in impact.

Achieve’s study found that “Millennials aren’t interested in structures, institutions, and organizations, but rather in the people they help and the issues they support.”

Here are some more interesting findings about Millennials and their engagement with social change:

  • Behind email, Facebook is the next preferred method by Millennials to stay current on organization issues.
  • 83% of Millennials use smartphones.
  • Mobile friendly websites are the most important feature on the smartphone device that Millennials want from organizations.
  • The number 1 action on websites and social networks taken by Millennials is sharing content.
  • Advance online training and knowing how the volunteer experience will affect the people served is a key interest to Millennials.
  • Run/Race/Walk events are the highest peer fundraising approaches used by Millennials.
  • Asking for a donation to an organization instead of receiving personal gifts is a growing favorite among Millennials.
  • Online websites are still primarily used and preferred when Millennials donate.
  • Millennials are more likely to donate when the organization explains how the gift will impact an individual.

The full report along with Millennial user testing videos (which are fascinating looks into how Millennials react to and engage with nonprofit websites) are available here.

The implications for the nonprofit sector are important. And they underline the fact that nonprofits cannot ignore social media and the Millennial generation. Nonprofits must embrace the fact that the world is very different now than it was even 5 years ago. They must embrace and find ways to engage this younger generation. It’s about empowering Millennials to tap into their networks to find advocates, volunteers, supporters for the cause.

So get out there and start experimenting.

Photo Credit: The Millennial Impact
 

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About the Author: Nell Edgington is President of Social Velocity (www.socialvelocity.net), a management consulting firm leading nonprofits to greater social impact and financial sustainability. Social Velocity helps nonprofits grow their programs, bring more money in the door, and use resources more effectively. For more information, check out Social Velocity consulting services and clients.


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