Millennials are the new outreach buzz word. The generation born after 1980 are the new target demo for many organizations, including nonprofits. Research tells us they are connected and looking to make a real impact in their communities. They represent an incredible opportunity for nonprofits that can garner their attention. Because of their penchant for technology, mobile apps can be an effective way to tap into their behavior and turn them into social advocates for your organization.
Here are three millennial facts that demonstrate the need to use mobile in your fundraising activities:
1. They Sleep with their Phones
The American Pew Research study showed that 3/4 millennials sleep with their cell phones. (Even if you aren’t a millennial, you may be guilty of that fact. We know several members of the uBack team who are known to keep that cell phone with a finger’s reach at all times. Even, though some of us may not technically be considered millennials. Technically. It’s close though. Really close. Right? We digress…)
How much is your organization planning to raise from this demographic this year? Now, consider how much you could raise if you tapped into this important group? If you see the possibility, you need to ramp up your mobile capability immediately. If not, you’re missing a coveted opportunity to connect and engage with new donors. One of our uBack nonprofits has thousands of millennials engaged with their cause on a weekly basis. However, they’ve historically had difficulty turning that engagement into dollars. Why? One reason may be they aren’t meeting them where they are. The pledge card or even online donation process isn’t working with this age group. They are eager to try new things, learn and stay abreast of updates and news from your organization. Mobile capabilities simplify a donor’s ability to achieve all three. When you have a donor base that’s sleeping with their cell phones, the connection couldn’t be clearer.
2. Garner Information from Facebook
The power of social media as a way to ramp up awareness and engagement for your cause is well-documented. (ALS Challenge anyone?). There’s no demographic where this is more critical for than with the millennials. When they’re using social networks not only as a way to engage with their peers, but as a way to garner information, social networks provide a tangible opportunity to promote your cause and engage with this critical donor base. One of the largest drivers of information is their peers. Millennials look to peers for information, recommendations and connections. A mobile app helps you be part of that conversation.
3. They Demand Work-Life Integration
Millennials are seeking positions that allow them to integrate their life with their 9-5. Replacing the old mantra of work-life balance, the work-life integration concept starts with the understanding that you are constantly connected to their jobs, friends, family and life. Millennials get this concept. They want to align with organizations that allow them to feel connected to what’s important to them.
There are several platforms out there, but it’s important to build your cause on one that will make it easy on your donors and efficient for your organization. Here are three things to consider before launching your mobile initiative.
1. Easy to Ramp-Up
Creating a mobile presence can take time. Leveraging an existing platform can help maximize efficiency while driving impact quickly. Any mobile platform you use should be cost efficient for your organization, while enabling easy ramp-up for your staff and integration to existing systems.
2. Social Updates and Integration
If millennials are looking for their information on social, it’s important your mobile capabilities harness the power of social networks allowing donors to easily share information and updates socially. Posts like, “I just donated $20 to send a kid to camp this week! Company X is matching donations until 5pm. Will you join me?” Can help drive engagement and further the reach of your cause.
3. Tap Into Corporate Partnerships
Your corporate partners are important stakeholders that likely drive repeated funds to your organization. Your mobile initiative should be able to provide further outreach for these coveted relationships. Consider how the mobile platform will (1) increase visibility for the corporate partners, promoting matches and sponsorships and (2) allow companies to provide further “give-back” opportunities for their millennial employees.