The surprising reason millennials haven’t given to your nonprofit

4 Jun


Each year The Millennial Impact Report comes out and is FULL of amazing data about millennials (20-35 year olds) preferences and habits as it pertains to their philanthropy. And there’s always some stats from the reports that stick in my head like a commercial jingle. The one that’s been playing over and over in my head is from the 2012 report. In it was perhaps one of the most surprising pieces of data and I guess that’s why it sticks in my head.

You see, smartphone penetration for millennials is up there-approaching 85%. They live on them and in social media. This generation is larger than the Boomer generation and just as concerned about making an impact in the world with their time, talent, treasure and social network. The millennial generation will become, almost overnight it seems, the most important generation to reach for nonprofits.

For millennials, your direct mail reminds them of things their parents do or did and they are all about doing things differently. They see the large carbon footprint of direct mail and the reliance on a relic, the US Postal Service, as nothing they want to be part of. Many don’t and will never have checkbooks or landline phones. They are online; you can think of millennial and online as synonymous. And when online, they choose experiences they like versus those that frustrate them. It’s a matter of their time and being associated with something that in their mind “doesn’t work”.

What frustrates them about nonprofits today is their lack of a mobile-optimized experience but this is not the reason for this post. Yes, 84% of nonprofits do not have a mobile-optimized giving experience but this is not the number one reason millennials cited for not giving to your nonprofit via their smartphone.

The number one reason they haven’t given is that they’ve never been asked to give via their smartphone.

Now I know this may have a lot to do with the fact that even on a PC your donation experience designed for the PC is not very good. You likely have multiple pages and too many fields to complete and I understand the hesitancy to present this to mobile givers.

But at some point you have to start asking them. It’s the number one reason they haven’t given to you and it’s easily solvable!!!

In fact, I will wager that every nonprofit in the US is missing donations every month for this one reason-they’ve never asked their supporters to make a mobile donation.

So my advice is to start asking and don’t stop with just millennials. I’ll also wager that your donors love it when you make giving easy. After all, giving is an impulse and all age groups love satisfying an impulse when it happens and this is especially true when they feel inspired to make the world or someone’s life better than it was yesterday.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.

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