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When compared to older generations, Gen Z and Millennial donors have different meanings in giving back to a charity. They are more eager to be involved in specific projects or initiatives rather than make an annual contribution. Younger donors want to see the impact of their donation, and they rely on social media for this information.
That’s why social media plays an important role for fundraisers in attracting this younger generation’s attention. As the most popular social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram are both powerful tools for charities to reach donors within their own communities.
However, there is one important thing fundraisers should keep in mind. What Millennials and Gen Z value most is authenticity, not only when it comes to businesses or products they trust but also how they support them through their donations.
Building relationships with Gen Z and Millennial donors is all about creating engaging content that reflects your organization’s vision and strategic plan. Before we dive into a practical approach to using social media effectively, let’s define the difference between the older and younger generations.
Understanding the Donors
In the past, marketers could convince donors simply by making an engaging proposal. Throw in pictures of cute kids, maybe a success story or two, and “Bob’s your uncle.”
Nowadays, donors are getting more educated every day. They’ve grown immune to cheesy marketing campaigns that promise everything while delivering nothing. Instead of cuddly babies, they want concrete facts backed by real results.
For the younger generation, the biggest thing is authenticity. It isn’t enough for Millennials to simply donate money anymore. If you want them to financially support your organization, it needs to be relatable on every level possible – from your vision statement down to their donations, budgets are being slashed at an alarming speed.
The younger generation has started looking for organizations that use a sustainable approach towards fundraising. For example, an organization sharing its passion for achieving goals set out in strategic plans.
Millennials (born 1981 – 1995)
For Millennial donors (born 1981 – 1995), technology is their world. Therefore, they are likely to be comfortable with donating via social media and other online platforms.
They want to volunteer for causes they care about and become more involved, but not through traditional methods that may seem old-fashioned or time-consuming. Rather than serving on committees and boards, Millennials would rather take the lead on smaller projects: distributing flyers, hosting a fundraising event, sending emails encouraging donations to others in their networks. This is called ‘voluntourism.’
Millennial donors are also less likely to make significant financial contributions until later in life; instead, they see themselves as “heavily involved helpers.” And since many of them graduated from college during the recession, they’ve been forced to start their careers slowly – this makes it difficult for nonprofit organizations to approach them for larger gifts.
It’s not that Millennials don’t want to give. They just want to do it their own way. This is why more nonprofit organizations are adopting new technologies. For example, sites like Kickstarter allows users to start funding for projects on any topic with a few clicks of a button – young donors can easily spread the word about what’s important to them through Facebook, Twitter, email, or even text messages. Crowdfunding platforms also give nonprofits access to broad networks outside of their usual supporters.
Generation Z (born 1996 – present)
Generation Z has been exposed to the internet from an early stage, significantly influencing their approach to giving.
Social media communication is especially important for fundraising since it allows donors to receive information about causes and organizations quickly and directly. It also provides an easy way for people to share what’s important to them with friends, family members, and peers.
Having access to these communication channels can help Gen Z stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the world, making them more likely to give back. This demographic can also connect with other like-minded individuals who are interested in donating time or money toward various causes.
Donor Sentiment on Social Media
Millennials and Gen Z perceive social media almost similarly. That’s because they have been exposed to social sites for daily activities more than anything today. So, knowing how they operate social accounts can help nonprofit organizations improve their campaigns and attract these generations to donate.
According to multiple resources, donors have been using social media to donate and initiate funds for many causes. The following are some statistics to help you figure out the sentiment.
- More than 29% of online donors agree that social media has inspired them to give more.
- About 87% of donors make a second donation from a social referral source.
- 71% of nonprofit organizations worldwide believe that social media has been an effective fundraising strategy.
- Around 34% of nonprofit organizations have spent $67 on social media ads to get a donor.
- Social media amplifies 57% of traffic to fundraising campaign pages.
It’s safe to say that social media has been an integral part of fundraising campaigns that helps nonprofit organizations achieve their goals. Further, the organizations have considered using paid campaigns to drive more traffic and acquire more donors. However, organic strategies such as incorporating good content can attract Millennials and Gen Z donors because they look more convincing.
6 Tips to Use Social Media to Approach Millennials and Gen Z
Here are some tips that will help you build effective relationships with these younger generations on social media:
1. Take advantage of visual storytelling
Younger generations tend to respond more favorably to stories told through visuals rather than written content. They like what they see, so use engaging visual cues like photos and videos on your social media accounts (like Facebook Business Page) that demonstrate your commitment to helping people and making a positive impact.
2. Don’t use too many hashtags
Hashtags are useful in social media because they help you get your posts found more easily by other users interested in the content you’re sharing. However, don’t overdo it with hashtags, especially for businesses that may not have a huge following just yet.
3. Showcase the organization culture
Since younger generations are often tech-savvy individuals who value transparency when interacting with brands online, give them an inside look at how your organization operates through blog posts or videos. They want to know what makes you different from everyone else, so show them why they should visit your website or visit you in person.
Try creating videos of the team interacting with each other for a glimpse into what kinds of people work there and then use those videos in a campaign video or link them on the website. This allows donors to get to know the company beyond what is offered through products and services, making supporting your company much easier for them.
4. Humor often works best online
Especially on social media, an influx of humorous posts can give you the edge that you need to separate yourself from your competitors and convince people to visit your website or share your content with their friends.
Keep it interesting and relevant, as some brands come off as trying too hard when they’re adding humor into their posts.
Humor content such as memes allows you to connect with younger generations easily and allows you to add a human element to your nonprofit organization, giving it an authentic feel.
5. Use interactive content
Interactive posts like quizzes or polls allow the customers to feel like their opinion matters and are part of a community. This type of content also allows customers to show off their knowledge and expertise, creating trust between them and your company.
6. Keep it short
There is less chance of someone scrolling through multiple pages on one topic when each contains only a few sentences or paragraphs, so keep everything concise by splitting up blog posts with headings and subheadings.
Even if you write more than five hundred words, try breaking it up into separate blog posts because it makes for easier reading when all that needs to be looked at is one section instead of reading an entire article in just one sitting.
While the different generations may have different preferences in general, it is important to keep in mind that what makes a business successful depends on which generation you are talking to. Finding out what type of content Gen Z and Millennial donors favor is imperative for success.
P.S. Need help connecting with your donors on social? Speak to the experts at Hopeful Inc. today!