With somewhere around 80 million Millennials in the United States, it just makes sense for nonprofits to stay on top of the charitable giving statistics for this younger generation. Fortunately, the good folks at Achieve have taken much of the heavy lifting off of our collective plate by putting together their yearly Millennial Impact Report. And with the release of the 2013 Millenial Impact Report, we now have access to even more great research on how and why Millennials interact with and support the nonprofit organizations that they care about. Below we’ve summarized some of the key findings that resonated most strongly with us.
But first, why should you even care about Millennials?
Well, as the Foundation Center recently recounted, members of the Millennial generation already account for $200 billion in direct purchasing power and they are set to be the beneficiaries of a $41 trillion transfer of wealth from older generations.  As the leading edge of the Millennial generation is now approaching its peak earning years, it’s not an overstatement to say that Millennials represent the future of philanthropic giving…
But how do you get them to give to your organization?
1. The Primacy of the Nonprofit Website
Unsurprisingly, your nonprofit website continues to be an incredibly important portal to engage with tech savvy Millennials. The 2013 Millennial Impact Report notes that a nonprofit’s website serves as the default location Millennials will visit to first learn about your organization. Interestingly, the most frequent action taken by Millennials once they actually visited a nonprofit site was connecting with the organization via social media (51%). This is consistent with the idea that Millennials will first visit an organization’s website to get some background, and then stay in touch through updates on social channels. The second most frequent actions Millennials took on nonprofit websites were donating (46%) and reading blog posts (46%). Oh, and another great reason to keep your website looking good…the vast majority of Millennials that made gifts to nonprofits (84%) preferred to make those gifts through a website!
2. The Increasing Influence of Mobile
So, it’s no shocker that an engaging website is important to a Millennial audience, but you need to keep in mind that the device visitors are using to access your website can profoundly impact their experience. The 2013 Millenial Impact Report highlights that 83% of Millenials report owning a smartphone. Of those with smartphones, 80% use their phones to read articles and emails from nonprofits. 80% also indicated that they like it best when nonprofits have mobile optimized websites. Using responsive design to create a website that is easily digestible on a mobile device is becoming an increasingly important part of keeping Millennials engaged.
3. A Generation Primed for Monthly Giving
While many Millennials may lack the direct financial resources to make larger one-time gifts like their older counterparts do, they appear to be very open to the idea of monthly giving. The 2013 Millenial Impact report indicates that 52% of surveyed Millennials reported being interested in monthly giving. This finding was especially exciting to us as we’ve extolled the virtues of monthly giving before. A robust monthly giving program geared towards Millennials may help organizations maximize giving from younger donors while simultaneously combatting donor attrition.
4. Big Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Opportunity
Millennials remain highly connected to their peers through a variety of devices and social networks. According to the 2013 Millennial Impact Report, tapping into this connectedness through peer-fundraising initiatives can be a highly attractive avenue to explore. 64% of surveyed Millenials reported fundraising for run/walk/cycle events, while 46% reported a preference for asking people to donate to a nonprofit in lieu of receiving physical gifts. This last statistic is called out in particular by the report and it also jives with what we’ve been anecdotally observing from our perch here at Classy. In particular, the personalization options inherent in a year-round peer-to-peer fundraising program seem to be very appealing to the younger generation!
 Foundation Center citing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Havens & Schervish via Planned Giving Design Center
Photo Credit: Flickr User CarbonNYC