Causes, not organizations, seen as key for Millennials

To effectively engage Millennials, or people ages 20 to 33, nonprofits should focus on how the causes they care about affect individuals, while also delivering their messages using digital devices and social media that generation prefers, a new report says.

“Millennials are challenging the traditional methods of communication and marketing,” Derrick Feldmann of Achieve, a creative agency that released the report, says in a statement.

“Millennials want to succinctly know how their time, social media post, petition signing, and dollar will have an impact on the individual needing help or the issue they care about,” he says.

In fact, says the 2013 Millennial Impact Report, Millennials “number one pet peeve” is telemarketing and phone-based fundraising.

The report draws conclusions from previous research on over 11,000 Millennials, and from a national online survey that drew over 2,600 responses from 14 partner institutions, as well as video recorded feedback from 100 Millennial participants who tested nonprofit social media approaches, mobile websites, digital presence, and marketing messages.

After email, Facebook is the method Millennials prefer to stay current on organization issues, the report says.

Eighty-three percent of Millennials use smartphones, it says, and the two major activities they perform on their smartphones are reading email and following organizations on Facebook.

Mobile friendly websites are the most important feature from organizations that Millennials want on their smartphones, and they actively follow up to five organizations in social media.

The top action Millennials take on websites is to connect to the organization’s social media channels.

Key reasons Millennials volunteer are from passion, to make a difference for a cause they care about, and to meet other people passionate about the cause, the report says.

The most popular peer fundraising approaches Millennials use are run, race and walk events, the report says, and Millennials increasingly prefer to ask for a donation to an organization rather than to receive personal gifts.

When Millennials make donations, the mainly use and prefer online websites, and they are more likely to donate when the organizations explains how the gift will affect an individual, the report says

— Todd Cohen

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