By Chet Jain
Millennials have a reputation for being generous and charitable. Due to the advent of the digital age, millennials use the gadgets they are hooked on to every day to make the world a better place by spreading awareness about the causes they believe in and donating to their favourite charities, all through the internet.
Online fundraising platforms are growing at an increasingly fast rate due to millennials, 84% of whom have donated to charities. 30% of them donate through an online platform or through their smartphones. Subsequently, it comes as no surprise that non-profits that incorporate online crowd surfing and other internet platforms receive a much higher average gift amount than non-profit organisations that use the traditional snail mail platform of outreach. To build a strong donor base it is important for any organisation to have a diversified range of donors and grabbing the interest of Millenials is key to achieving that objective.
“Millennials grew up using smartphones, laptops, and tablets. For them, constant connectedness is a fact of life. Whether they’re keeping in touch with friends or researching nonprofits, millennials rely on social media, websites and search engines, and instant access to mobile technology,” Bradley Depew wrote in a recent article on The Balance. In fact, it is this constant connectivity that can be attributed to the success of crowdfunding today. According to an article in The G Brief, an online portal that extensively writes about millennials, “Crowdfunding uses millennials’ communal love for social media to help them share their great business ideas as well as support the charities they care about. And, of course, to earn recognition and social credit by being “seen” doing good online. Comprehensive crowdfunding campaigns meet millennials where they live – online, targeting Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media with medium-specific strategies.”
According to a recent study, 28% of all traffic that comes to a donation or fundraising page is directed through Facebook. Platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, Instagram and Snapchat are all driving people towards donating and are responsible for the success of campaigns like #GivingTuesday and the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.
In fact, through recent research, philanthropic software developer Blackbaud found that donating via a mobile device is the millennials favourite way to contribute to charity. The next few choices on the list were donating at work, retail purchases that also involve a charitable donation, organizations’ websites, and getting others involved in causes.
“In these news-cycle events, virality is the way people want to donate,” said Edwin Goutier, director of innovation at international nonprofit United Way in a recent article in AdWeek. He added that the charity also introduced mobile giving with a test platform last year that had very successful results. “Before, our giving platforms were desktop only. Now we’re starting to make the giving experience more of what [millennials] expect. Moving forward, we want to get our partners to encourage mobile contributions,” he said.
However, not all nonprofits are taking advantage of this wave of digitisation and moving on to digital fundraising. “With that donor data you would think that Social Media and accepting Online Donations would be a no-brainer. However, 24% of NGOs in North America do not agree that Social Media is effective for online fundraising and 14% of NGOs in North America still do not accept online donations. There is a disconnect between 1 in 4 NGOs on what their donors want,” wrote Christopher Miller of Gadellnet Technology Solutions in one of his blogs on LinkedIn.
Technology is so deeply entrenched and entangled with the lives of millennials that anybody who wants their attention has to make a digital appearance. Fundraisers need to incorporate digital fundraising if they want to garner the attention of millennials.
Chet Jain is the Founder and CEO of Crowdera.
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