Millennials Donors: Three Things You Should Know

sandra white background round 1

by Sandra K. Kidd,
Senior Partner


More than 6,500 young people aged 20-35 were surveyed this year about what motivates them to give and get engaged with nonprofits. The third annual survey of the Millennials, released this summer, shows that The Three Ts are powerful forces in shaping the how and why of philanthropy for this group.

Technology continues to drive how Millennials get their information and make decisions. The biggest takeaway: 65 percent are going directly to your website, and nearly four in five of them are getting there via a mobile device. So if you haven’t created a mobile version of your website yet, you are missing the opportunity to make a positive first impression. Pull out your smartphone, and look at your site on a two- to three-inch screen. The results may be eye-opening.

Transparency is critical to getting Millennials to buy in. Nine out of 10 want to see your mission plainly stated, and right up front. And like all donors, they want to know how their money is being used. The biggest “pet peeve” for this group: not knowing how their gift will make a difference, and never getting a report on where their money went. The takeaway: you owe every donor-whether they give $100 or $100,000-an accounting of where their gifts go. Including links to your 990, or your annual report-or even a pie chart of how you invest in your programs included on a gift receipt-all are simple, effective ways to show good stewardship.

Trust. They may use technology to find you, but Millennials are no different from any other age: they want their giving and volunteering to matter. Building relationships and showing your appreciation is essential to turning a one-time giver into an annual donor-and turning donors into those who will ask others to join them in giving to your organization.

So use technology to your advantage, always be transparentabout your financials and how gifts impact your programs, and above all, build trust to turn today’s Millennials into tomorrow’s philanthropists.