Engaging Millennials and Gen Z in Non-Profit Fundraising

Engaging Millennials and Gen Z in Non-Profit Fundraising

With Millennials and Gen Z now the two largest generations in history, much has been written about their passion and drive to change the world. Engaging these cohorts in non-profit fundraising is a high priority for many organizations.

But traditional approaches may not always work with digitally savvy, socially conscious younger people.

So, how can charities create meaningful connections that resonate? What are some of the most innovative approaches to engaging younger people in your fundraising?

Here’s our practical guide on how to engage with millennials and Generation Z better when it comes to raising money.

Understanding Millennial and Gen Z Philanthropy

The digital age has seen the redefinition of philanthropy by Millennials and Gen Z. These groups want to make a direct impact, connect the causes they believe in with their values, and get involved with fundraising.

Unlike previous generations that focused on charity, younger people now prize authenticity, transparency, and engagement.

Crowdfunding sites, including GoFundMe, are one example of how this trend is playing out. Millennials and Gen Z use these platforms often to raise money for personal or other causes.

But they don’t just put up cash – they share campaigns on social media, activate their networks, and tap into peer-to-peer connections to expand success.

In addition, they are attracted to strategies and models based on gamification or reward-giving. For example, an app called Charity Miles tracks users’ physical activity and donates money to the charity of their choice based on distance runs.

This kind of interactivity is designed not just to keep millennials and Gen Z engaged in fundraising but also to promote wellness and activism at the same time.

Another way non-profits can engage younger donors is by partnering with influencers or ambassadors who are especially in tune with them.

By forging alliances with popular YouTubers or other social media figures that back specific causes, organizations can tap into the influencer’s large following, creating a domino effect of awareness — and donations.

Millennials and Gen Z bring a new perspective on philanthropy. They want personalized experiences, digital platforms that allow for active participation, gaming elements that make fundraising more like fun-filled adventures — and conglomerates involving influential individuals who inspire them.

Why Is Engaging Millennials and Gen Z Important?

Engaging millennials and Gen Z in non-profit fundraising is not just important—it’s imperative for the sustainability and success of organizations.

For one thing, these two generations are the largest population cohorts at present. Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—are currently ranging from their mid-20s to late-30s, while Gen Z—born after 1997—are primarily teenagers and young adults.

Together, they number in the millions, with immense potential as donors, volunteers, and advocates. For another thing, both millennials and Gen Z have a strong desire to make a difference in the world.

They care passionately about social causes such as climate change, equality, mental health awareness, and LGBTQ+ rights. They want to connect with organizations that share their values—and that do something about them.

What’s more, engaging millennials and Gen Z brings new ideas into non-profit organizations. These digital natives grew up with technology at their fingertips—and they’re embracing new platforms for communication and engagement.

Their insights can lead non-profits toward better strategies for raising money that take advantage of current trends.

Creative Ideas to Engage Millennials and Gen Z in Non-Profit Fundraising

Attracting millennials and Gen Z to non-profit fundraising is no simple task. In order to capture the attention of these younger generations, you need to think outside the box and create campaigns that resonate with their values and preferences.

Here are some fresh ideas for reaching them:

Social Media Challenges

One effective strategy for engaging millennials and Gen Z is to organize social media challenges related to your cause – they’re a fun way to fundraise!

To give one example, if you run an organization focused on environmental conservation, try creating a viral challenge with some gifts encouraging people to donate while challenging their friends.

You could ask participants to post a photo of themselves doing something eco-friendly (like recycling or planting trees), donating $5 per participant. Don’t forget an engaging hashtag so you can track participation across different platforms.

The reason it works? It plays on both generations’ love of social media – plus their competitive nature.

Get it right! Along with awareness about your cause being spread far and wide across different social networks, more money will start rolling in, too.

Digital Art and NFT Auctions

Non-profits have an opportunity to take advantage of the increasing popularity of digital art and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) by organizing auctions that raise money for their projects.

By working with skilled digital artists who are passionate about your cause, you can create one-of-a-kind art pieces that can be tokenized as NFTs.

Hold an online auction for these NFTs, where people can bid on them – with all proceeds going directly towards your non-profit’s campaigns or initiatives.

This is a great way to raise cash – but it could also attract some attention from people in the digital realm who might not normally get involved in traditional fundraising methods.

It’s also a good chance for established artists looking to do something a bit different - as well as up-and-coming talents trying to get noticed.

Powerful Merchandise

Produce and distribute fashion-forward merch with one-of-a-kind designs that strike a chord with young people, ensuring all the profits from sales go toward your mission.

If you want to get millennials and Gen Z involved in fundraising for non-profits, impactful merch can be a game-changer. Create items — T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, or accessories — adorned with visually stunning graphics that line up with your cause.

The trick is to tap into whatever’s trendy at the moment, whether it’s TikTok humor or social justice messages that hit young people in their feels.

Consider collaborating with local artists or influencers who can bring their creativity and reach to the project. This adds authenticity plus potential exposure among their followers. Make sure it’s clear how each purchase helps.

Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences

Create VR experiences that transport supporters to your non-profit’s world. Use this tech to share emotional stories and reach younger people.

Step into a virtual world using VR, and you’ll feel as if you’re truly somewhere else — which makes it a powerful tool for getting millennials and Gen Z on board with your charity’s fundraising efforts.

Develop immersive VR experiences that show firsthand the impact of what you do.

For example, imagine taking supporters on a virtual village tour to demonstrate the difference clean water has made or whisking them away for an up-close look at wildlife conservation work.

The idea is to connect emotionally with causes in ways we haven’t been able to before by using storytelling techniques in VR.

You might want to team up with a specialist agency or VR developer that caters specifically to charities and not-for-profits.

Experiences like these can be showcased at events, shared via social media channels, or even hosted virtually so they can be accessed anywhere in the world.

Eco-Friendly Fundraising Initiatives

Engaging millennials and Gen Z in non-profit fundraising can be done through organizing eco-friendly initiatives.

Millennials and Gen Z are passionate about sustainability and are happy to support causes that align with their beliefs.

Tree-planting events where donations can be made for planting trees or sustainable product sales where a percentage of each product sold goes directly to the non-profit group is one way to go about this.

Another idea is launching campaigns aimed at reducing plastic waste, encouraging individuals to donate while taking action on an immediate environmental problem.

The goal of such eco-friendly fundraising activities is not only raising funds but also promoting environmental stewardship – attracting young individuals who care about making a positive impact on our planet.

Charity Crypto Mining

Engaging millennials and Gen Z in non-profit fundraising is important, but how do you get young people on board with your organization? One answer might be embracing technology and cryptocurrency.

A new method of generating funds for charities, called charity mining, involves encouraging supporters to donate their computer’s processing power.

By joining a cryptocurrency mining pool dedicated to supporting your non-profit, individuals can contribute their computing resources towards generating funds for your cause.

This approach allows supporters to actively participate in fundraising without traditional monetary donations by leveraging their skills and resources instead.

This unique method holds particular appeal for those who are interested in cryptocurrencies or enjoy using new technologies.

Bottom Line

Adapting to the dynamic preferences of Millennials and Gen Z is crucial for non-profit fundraisers wanting to engage these demographics.

Success may hinge on understanding how philanthropy is changing – from traditional charity into active involvement – and, in turn, embracing innovative approaches.

Examples such as GoFundMe demonstrate how younger generations are leveraging social media to get involved with fundraising actively rather than just giving money.

Gamification, influencer partnerships, and tech-driven experiences align with their desire for authenticity and engagement. The size of populations means millennials and Gen Z represent more than potential donors – they shape the future of philanthropy itself.

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