99.99% of all nonprofits are currently facing the exact same dilemma: their donors are aging. The average donor age for many nonprofits spans from 50 to 70 years old, and this number is increasing every year. Some of the largest nonprofits in the world receive a majority of their donations from direct mail. Direct mail?! Ask anyone under the age of 35 about direct mail and they won't know what that is. If nonprofits don't start thinking about how to engage and activate younger donors soon, they won't be around for much longer. Sound harsh? Well, it is, but fortunately there is still time to do something about it.
If the rant above wasn't convincing enough, here are five more reasons why your organization needs to invest time and resources into capturing younger donors:
- Millennials are the future
This is an obvious argument. This header could also be written as "30 year olds will be 50 in 20 years" and still imply the same thing. It's a valid argument nonetheless. Baby Boomers grew up in a different era, with different technology, different societal behaviors, and different access to information. This divide is exacerbated by the fact that the average donor age for nonprofits was not increasing 20 years ago at the rate it is today. Millennials are quickly becoming the future. They're already the biggest population of consumers, and in the next few decades they will become the biggest population of donors as well.
- Charitable giving trickles up
Young people aren't going to fall into the "major donor" category for a long time, but one thing is certain: millennials are a force to be reckoned with. Get young people excited about something, and the energy trickles up to their parents and grandparents. President Obama brought unprecedented amounts of young voters to the polls, and the enthusiasm carried through to older generations. Millennials love sharing stories, particularly around social good, so give them something to talk about at the dinner table and the dollars are sure to follow.
- $1 from 1,000 people is better than $1,000 from 1 person
Relying on a few major contributors can put any organization in a precarious situation. Focusing on small contributions from the masses can be an incredibly powerful way to galvanize the younger generations and diversify the risk of your organization's fundraising efforts. If I learned one thing as a finance major in college, it's that diversification is key.
- Millennials will be your next major hires
Aside from the monetary and social benefits of having a large millennial donor base, perhaps the most undervalued is the effect it can have on your recruiting and hiring potential as an organization. With many young people opting to work for themselves (close to 50% of the workforce will be freelancing by 2020), and with stark competition and perk-heavy packages at companies, nonprofits are going to have a really hard time winning the attention of talented workers if they don't focus on activating and engaging younger generations.
- A young donor is a lifelong donor
The younger someone is when they give to an organization, the more likely they are to continue giving to that organization throughout their lives. By capturing a donation today, no matter how small, you put your organization in a valuable position in that person's life and dramatically increase your chances at receiving a larger gift in the future.
Convinced yet? Message us and let us know!