Millennial Donors: A Study of Millennial Giving and Engagement Habits

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Millennials, or Generation Y, represent a growing population of donors in the nonprofit field. This report examines the giving, volunteering and communication habits of those in this age group.

The report is based on results of surveys given to more than 2,000 people between the ages of 20 and 40, a portion of whom were students or newcomers to the workforce.

In general, millennial donors favor organizations that are willing to provide information and opportunities for involvement, the report states. Of those surveyed, 86.3 percent said they wanted updates on programs and services of organizations they supported, and 60.5 percent said they would like access to executive leadership. In addition, 55.7 percent said they’d be unlikely to respond to general, nonspecific requests.

The findings of the study allow for speculation on what organizations can do to adapt to America’s growing dependency on technology – a habit that is reflected in the behavioral trends of the millennial population.

The surveys found millennials prefer e-mail as their primary communication method, with 93 percent of participants selecting that option. They also used e-mail and/or text messaging as a means for donating; over 75 percent have done so. An overwhelming majority, 86.4 percent, of the online donors said that Google is one of their first go-to sources for seeking information about nonprofit organizations; 51.2 percent also use Facebook for this purpose.

Some figures were strikingly polarized: Results indicated that millennial donating history reflected either very large contributions or very small ones, with almost no numbers in between. Many responses, however, indicated plans to be “more generous” in giving both time and money.

The report concludes that in order to achieve long-term success, organizations should seek to connect with the millennial population, increasing their focus on personal engagement and increasing inside opportunities for donors.

Free, 21 pages.