I confess - I, along with the rest of the 20-35 year olds in the world, spend more time checking Instagram, posting to Facebook and watching Taylor Swift’s new music video on YouTube, than I probably should.
However, I also enjoy spending time volunteering for and donating to charities that I’m passionate about, and recent studies have shown that I’m not alone. According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, 84% of millennials have made a charitable donation in the past year. These millennials account for approximately $200 billion in purchasing power, making it essential for charities to tap into this resource.
1. young adult age 20-35
2. someone who spends a large portion of their day on social media
3. the perfect age group for charities to recruit donors from
Young adults are ready and willing to impact their communities, but you aren’t going to reach them with outdated methods. For charities to reach millennials, they will have to do these 5 things…
1. Have a strong social media presence
The millennial generation is the first to have grown up using social media. They feel comfortable in this environment and they are constantly there. If your cause is on social media, you can be in front of their glued-to-the-screen eyes on a daily basis - making it the best way to reach millennials.Charities should make their social media a priority to engage the young adult audience.
Social media allows millennials to show their peers what they’ve been up to. Make your content easily shareable through social media and your cause will be promoted. 65% of millennials are more likely to get involved with a charity if they know their peers are involved, making it essential that young adults are talking about your cause.
Here are 3 of our favourite social media tips:
- Post pictures along with your tweets and status updates - viewers are much more likely to engage with your content this way.
- Post at times when there will be lots of traffic on social media. In our experience, morning and evening commutes seem to be the perfect time to reach your followers.
- Use hashtags to find followers with similar interests and interact with your audience
2. Create a mobile optimised website
A smartphone is a necessity in the life of a twenty-something year old so you must make your charity’s website mobile friendly. Millennials are impatient with outdated technology. With an endless number of worthy charities, if your website isn't easy to navigate on a mobile, millennials will quickly move on to a different charity. LIKECHARITY’S website gets almost 50% of it’s views from mobile devices, so we have worked hard to make sure that our website is both visually appealing and functional on mobile devices.
Here are 3 ways to make your website mobile friendly courtesy of Sitepoint:
- Eliminate blank space and fit your website’s width to the mobile screen. Here’s the code you need: <meta name=viewport content='width=700'>
- Use standard fonts. On a desktop unique fonts add style to your page, but on a mobile these fonts take ages to load.
- Create custom style rules that only apply to the mobile website. This can ensure that both your mobile & desktop sites are working efficiently.
3. Tackle TV
Television is another great way to communicate with a younger generation.
LIKECHARITY’s Engage platform helps charities to create engaging, direct response TV (DRTV) advertisements that ask viewers to pledge their support to the charity via their mobile. LIKECHARITY carefully plan when and where to air the ads so that they will have the greatest impact. When working with Age UK, LIKECHARITY identified the best response and conversion rates came from ads that aired during Made in Chelsea - a reality show that is aimed at millennials. Age UK would have never thought to target this audience and were pleasantly surprised with the millennials’ interaction with their cause. This proves that if you make the effort to reach young adults, they will respond.
Here are 3 ways to incorporate television into your fundraising:
- DRTV advertisements (Engage can help)
- Partner with a TV channel (LauraLynn did this very successfully, read more)
- Have a spokesperson appear on a talk show (Majella O’Donnell on the Late Late Show for ICS)
4. Keep your content concise
Millennials are all about getting things done quickly. Remove the “fluff” from your content and put your call-to-action right in front of their face so that they simply can’t miss it.
Keeping with the theme of this tip, I won’t ramble on for too long, but here is one suggestion: make your content easily skimmable. Use bullet points, bold words, links, buttons and infographics to make the important information pop when someone scans your page.
5. Make donating fun
While yes, young people love to get things done fast, they also love to have FUN! If you can make involvement with your charity fun and interactive, it will be so much easier to sell your cause to millennials.
We have seen this work with so many of our charity clients. Last summer, after seeing almost all of your Facebook friends dump a cold bucket of water on their heads, it is hard to deny that the Ice Bucket Challenge was a success for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA). With the help of Collect, IMNDA was able to raise over €1 million. This was the perfect summer activity that made everyone want to join in! Not to mention, it allowed participants to show off their good deed to all of their friends, making the campaign even more appealing.
The most important takeaway is that you must not underestimate the power of the younger generation. Charities should create a culture of innovation and forward-thinking in order to reach this valuable resource.
So embrace your inner 20 year old, start hashtagging and secure a new group of donors that will support you for years to come!