I am a millennial. As a millennial, I remember when my family purchased its first computer, but it has been long enough that I don’t quite remember life without having an in-home computer. I also remember getting my first cell phone at sixteen and, later, my first smartphone at twenty-two. I have grown up with these huge technological advances occurring all around me. These advances have impacted the person I have become. No, my smartphone did not teach me right from wrong (ps. thanks Mom and Dad), but it did change the way we ALL live.
Because I’ve had a smartphone since my college graduation, I expect to find any information that I need from this small device that I take literally everywhere with me. Like my Gen Y peers, I may even experience separation anxiety when I’ve accidentally left my phone at home. So, what does me being a millennial have to do with your nonprofit? If you want me to donate my hard earned dollar or my precious free time to your cause, you better get me to notice your organization and your cause!
Here are the top 3 tips on how to get millennials involved in your organization:
1. Keep it social!
Yes, by now, you know to use social media when marketing to Generation Y, but are you using social media correctly? Are you just putting up a post or tweet without really thinking about how I want to see that post? If there’s not a picture or something eye-catching, I’m very likely to just skip right over the important information that you’re trying to get to me. Infographics are hot! Use them on social media and anywhere else. After you catch my eye, make sure there is a strong call to action. Also, it is important that you make it easy for me to share your content with my friends and family. When planning your social media campaign, make sure you always read up on each social media channel to determine if your organic reach will be enough. You may have to pay a few bucks for earned media or encourage your organization to get its own mobile app, but it is well worth the expense. (Go here for more on earned media)
2. More mobile please!
Expect a millennial (or someone from any generation, for that matter) to quickly delete any email that is not responsive. I, personally, do not want to squint at my phone to make out its message. Even more, I do not want to attempt to push the tiny ‘donate now’ text; it’s frustrating. I want easy to read text and a large button (yes, I’m talking about a clear call to action again) to hit with my finger when I’m ready to donate. Once I have pressed that beautiful and oh-so-easy-to-push ‘donate now’ button, make sure that I am able to donate in a way that is as easy as possible, allow me to donate with credit or debit cards (rarely, will I give via check or cash).
3. Keep me informed about fun or skill building volunteer work!
Millennials are all about the experience. Having fun mixed with that rewarding feeling is something any of my friends and I would be up for. Make your volunteer opportunities fun by simply adding music and making sure your staff is upbeat and welcoming. You can also market your volunteer opportunities as something to build their resume. It’s a competitive job market out there and if I could gain experience and have fun while helping a great cause, I’m all in. Don’t forget to continue to engage and thank with your donors and volunteers after the fact; millennials appreciate your gratitude!