Although several think pieces have portrayed millennials as selfish and entitled, data shows that this generation wants to do good. The 2015 Millennial Impact Report found that 84 percent of those surveyed had made a charitable gift in 2014 and 70 percent had volunteered. This is welcome news for social impact organizations, especially since there are approximately 75 million millennials in the United States.
It’s important to note, however, that this generation is best mobilized when you communicate with them online. Many millennials have never lived in a world without computers and when they want to learn about a cause, news story, or person, the internet is their first stop. The quality of your nonprofit organization’s website can therefore be the difference between being championed by millennials and being ignored by them.
To help you understand how to cater to this generation, we unearthed four reasons millennials abandon websites. Fortunately, they are all within your power to address.
1. Your Site Is Not Mobile-Responsive
A 2015 survey found that 86 percent of people ages 18 to 29 had smartphones. Young adults were more likely to have a smartphone than to have a computer or tablet. This suggests that for many people, internet browsing occurs primarily on a phone. Millennials use their smartphones to communicate, entertain themselves, and even pay bills. If your website can’t adapt to fit their screens, you’re in trouble.
One survey found that a lack of responsive design was millennials’ number one pet peeve when it came to nonprofit websites. What’s more, the same survey found that “the overwhelming majority—a combined 84%—gave or wants to give via website.” It’s not just site visitors that you lose when millennials abandon your site. You’re also driving away donors and dollars raised for your cause. We’ve reached the point where mobile responsive websites and donation pages are not luxuries, they’re necessities.
2. It’s Outdated or Information is Missing
After sites that aren’t mobile-responsive, the next biggest pet peeve for millennials is when it’s difficult (or impossible) to find important information on nonprofits’ websites. Millennials are used to having the world at their fingertips. Wide access to data and informational resources creates high expectations for organizational transparency. If you don’t make data and details available to them, they will find it difficult to trust your nonprofit.
Organizations must keep their websites updated, not only with basic contact information, but with impact stories and results. Like your social media profiles, your website should not be stagnant and unchanging. Keep it up-to-date with your nonprofit’s latest initiatives, campaigns, and success stories to show millennials how you’re in constant pursuit of progress.
3. Your Site Isn’t Very Attractive
Millennials are used to the constant evolution and improvement of web design. If your site and donation pages still look like they were created in 1999, this generation of donors will not be impressed.
First impressions are everything. Consider how you dress when you have a job interview. Most of us try to look our best: neat, professional, even a little stylish.
When a millennial first investigates your website, it’s as if your organization is interviewing for their support. As urgent as your cause is or as impactful as your programs are, that first visual impression is vital.
Blood: Water’s website is simple, sleek, and pleasing to the eye.
A poorly designed website, with low-quality graphics and unattractive fonts can make your nonprofit look outdated and ineffective. Fortunately, tools like WordPress and Squarespace make it easier than ever to design a beautiful site that reflects your brand.
4. There’s No Clear Call to Action
Some critics think the time millennials spend on their smartphone or computer is purely passive and disconnects them from the world. But in reality, millennials tend to prefer an interactive user experience. Social media, blogs, and popular discussion sites like Reddit are driven by user-generated content and participation.
This taste for interaction, combined with millennials’ desire to do good, means that your website shouldn’t just be informative—it must also be actionable. If every page has a way for supporters to get involved, you create tons of entry points and opportunities to engage your audience. One of the simplest strategies you can employ is to make “Donate” and “Fundraise” buttons constantly available.
Keep A Child Alive uses social sharing buttons on the right hand of their page to show readers they can share this blog post with the click of a button.
You can also make entire sections of your site devoted to inviting people to take action. Highlight the impact donors can make with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or a page that asks for volunteers. You can even invite visitors to follow your organization on social media or share the content they engage with on your site, such as your blog posts.
Millennials want to learn about your cause and programs, but to ensure they take action and don’t just navigate away from your site, you have to show how they can help.
The truth is the millennial generation isn’t going anywhere. They will only grow in influence and giving power. When you court them now through mediums like your website, you set your nonprofit up for years of future support. Make your site a portal to attract and activate millennials. Because if you don’t, someone else will.