Millennial Donors Report Reflects Nonprofit Fundraising and other Trends Part 1 | Miratel Solutions

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Millennial Donors Report Reflects Nonprofit Fundraising and other Trends Part 1

I began working within the nonprofit fundraising sector in 1996, since 2000 with Miratel, and during that time I have seen many progressions in the giving landscape and culture on both the donor and nonprofit side. There are several reports that reflect these ongoing changes such as the Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving and the Millennial Donors Report 2011. The Millennial Donors Report 2011 is in its second year and it reports on charitable giving trends and patterns amongst Millennial Donors which are defined as the next generation of donors between the ages of 20-35.  The areas which this report covers include giving trends, motivators, special events, communication, volunteerism, and young professional groups.

Millennial Donors Report on Nonprofit Fundraising - Ages of Survey Participants

Ages of Survey Participants courtesy of

The Millennial Donors Report 2011 was based on survey results promoted by 7 different institutions that conducted the same online survey to 2,953 respondents between the ages of 20-35 across the U.S. The 7 institutions were made up of four higher education institutions (university/college), one national fraternal organization, one arts organization, and one human service organization. A similar survey was conducted in 2010 however the 2011 respondent pool was 33% larger than last year even though it focused on a smaller age range (ages 20-35, compared to 20-40 for the 2010 survey). Interesting to note is that more than 90% all of the respondents were college educated, nearly 50% pursued graduate studies, and 37% hold graduate degrees.

A key finding in this report is that trust is the biggest factor influencing the Millennial donor decision and that this new generation is more likely to volunteer for organizations which they have already financially supported.  Many assume that the Millennial generation can be “characterized as being a one-dimensional, technologically plugged-in and personally disconnected group, the fact is, this group is diverse, human and ready to give.”

93% of all respondents confirmed they had made donations in 2010 to a single nonprofit, while 63% made donations across multiple organizations.  Although there has been a rise in technological giving platforms, Millennial donors prefer more traditional personal donating requests. Face-to-face fundraising, telephone fundraising and direct mail requests ranked above technology-based asks made via online and email as a preferred method of engagement.

Although they prefer the request to be made through more traditional, personal channels, when it comes to making their donation they prefer them to be easy to access, online tools.  Other options that Millennial supporters would like to see as ways to donate include automatic payroll deductions and employer matching contributions to maximize the impact of their gift.  Although this generation of supporters is fully engaged in social media for day to day communications, they are not yet ready to embrace making donations through these channels as very few had made a donation using social media platforms and mentioned these as much lower on their list of preferences.

Millennial Donors Report Factors that Motivate Nonprofit Fundraising

Factors that Motivate Giving image courtesy of

What motivates a Millennial donor to support a cause or organization includes compelling causes, a personal connection or trust in the organization and/or their leadership, endorsement of a friend or family member and workplace fundraising initiatives.  Their generosity is mainly directed to causes focused on education, human services, arts and culture, as well as faith based causes.  Celebrity endorsements did not factor in and encourage Millennials to give, as only 2% of respondents cited this as a motivating factor.

“For nonprofits, one of the biggest lessons here is that we cannot make assumptions about Millennial donors. Instead, we need to embrace both their progressive ideas and deeply rooted values. We need to listen to them and respond, rather than making as­sumptions and reaching out to them according to those assumptions.” – Derrick Feldman, Achieve and Ted Grossnickle, Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates

I will continue tomorrow with Part 2 of The Millennial Donors Report 2011 where I will feature more of its findings on how to reach and engage this key donor demographic to optimize nonprofit fundraising initiatives.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values and advancing the missions of the non-profits we proudly serve.

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One Response to Millennial Donors Report Reflects Nonprofit Fundraising and other Trends Part 1

  1. Pingback: » Nonprofit Fundraising in 2011 According to The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Part 1

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