Let’s Talk About Millennials!Posted on: March 11, 2020
If you are wondering why this post features a photo of a guy on his iPhone, working on a Mac laptop, in a trendy hipster coffee shop… well that’s because today because we are talking about Millennials!
We recently received a question that got us thinking:
“How do I talk to Millennials?”– Ministry Sync Customer
This question seems to be a re-occurring, common pain point for some of our customers, as the following feedback we’ve received illustrates:
“Young people don’t give.”
“They’re hard to get to come to events.”
“They don’t pick up the phone…”
As a Millennial myself, I hear this and some of it I understand and find relatable. For example, when I see a number calling me that I don’t recognize, I’m like “Why are you calling me?! I DON’T KNOW YOU!” Yes, that is slightly embarrassing to admit as a young professional…
But in all seriousness, cultivating your relational millennial skills is definitely worth the effort! Here are a couple quick statistics to illustrate this fact:
“At 83 million people, Millennials account for a quarter of the population of the United States, making them the largest living generation,” according to Lexington Law. Also, according to NonProfit Source, “84% of Millennials give to charity, donating an annual average of $481 across 3.3 organizations.”
Have we convinced you this is important yet? Today we are excited to share a few practical tips and statistics to hopefully help bridge any generational gaps and equip your organization to reach and empower individuals across multiple generations!
First tip? Reach Millennials where they are at.
Tip #1: Don’t call. Do text!
According to NonProfit Source, “Millennials are active on their phones and respond best to text message and social media, but rarely check personal email or respond to voice calls.”
Don’t try to reach a Millennial in the same way you would reach someone from an older generation. Let’s face it: they (probably) don’t want a phone call. The fact is, phone conversations are less effective and commonplace for Millennials and even more so for the generations following. Consider texting, sending a direct message on social media, or maybe sending an email! Whatever is appropriate for your relationship, consider implementing more effective and organic ways of connecting with this generation.
Additionally, make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Remember – these tips are essentially RELATIONSHIP building strategies. Because, after all, relationship is the goal!
And secondly? Social Media.
Tip #2: Focus on Social Media & Technology
That’s right. If not already, now is the time to get active on social media, create awareness, invite engagement and foster relationships.
Depending on your background, you may be proficient in all things tech. That is awesome! If not, that is okay too. But remember that most Millennials are technology natives. For most of us, we grew up with computers, smartphones and social media. It’s our native language or “mother tongue”! So simply choosing not to engage? Well… you are missing out on some prime engagement opportunities! I would highly recommend engaging with Millennials on their turf.
According to Sharethrough, 83% of Millennials find online content useful in making purchasing decisions.
Translation: Your social media presence can encourage donations from Millennials! If you don’t have an active social media presence as part of your communications plan, you might consider hiring a young person or creating an internship! Target a young communications or marketing student or a young Millennial to assist with your social media presentation. They can help you reach their age demographic!
A few helpful tips when establishing and maintaining a social media presence; stay consistent, use your presence to tell a story, and share proof of your organization’s impact.
And for our third and final tip?
Tip #3: Host Great Events!
Thirdly, make your events Millennial friendly! Consider hosting more casual, low-commitment style, networking and fun events to engage Millennials in relationship. Consider making your event something they don’t have to commit to in advance. And before you brush off Millennials and think they won’t come, and they spend all their time online or in coffee shops… think again! (As I write this from a coffee shop… Ahem.)
According to Lexington Law “75% of Millennials believe attending an event in person has more impact than taking action online.”
Online presence is essential to reaching Millennials – but NOT EXCLUSIVE. Events are still very important in engaging younger audiences! Just make sure that they are Millennial-friendly.
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We hope these tips are helpful to you as you continue to expand your nonprofit’s reach to a younger generation, and we’d love to hear from you! If you have any thoughts or questions, comment below and let us know! Let’s continue the conversation.
This article was inspired by our customers and written to encourage your fundraising efforts. Although we work with ministries and events daily, our team members are not Event Consultants. We encourage you to consult with your event consultant, executive team, and/or affiliate organization before making any major changes to your events.