Tag Archives: online fundraising

Moving Millennials to Donate: Easier than You Think

A few months ago I wrote about the Chains of Habit many nonprofits are forming by reaching out to and stewarding the millennial generations. These chains of habit begin by establishing awareness about the mission and then move through increasingly higher asks:

1) volunteering
2) small donations
3) encouraging peers to become involved/donate
4) larger donations

This process, which mirrors any donor stewardship process, is undergirded by the emerging forms of electronic communication: enewsletters, social media, and more.

The internet is now the flour that thickens and binds the sauce.

Many CEOs feel unsure of how to proceed but, today, we have updated information to guide our approach. The 2011 Millennial Donor Survey results have been released and they are worth paying attention to.

Here are a few of my key take-aways from the report.

1) 70% of millennial have raised funds.
Wow! Think about our nonprofit boards. How many of you have 70% of your board members raising funds? Not many, I’d be willing to wager. However, this next generation appears to be more comfortable with fundraising than their predecessors. This makes sense. Partially because of (and partially evidenced by) social media, the millennial generation is a very connected group. They want to engage with one another and with others who share common interests. When they’re passionate about something — your mission?!? — they happily share.

Nonprofits can harness this fundraising might by encouraging millennial to join boards and by creating low price-point opportunities for donating/fundraising.

2)  70% said they would share cool events on Facebook.
This is in comparison to the 30% who would share that they had donated or the 34% who would share they had made an impact. They don’t want to brag. They don’t want a plaque on the wall. They want to engage. . . and it has to be cool.

Nonprofits should take note. Rubber chicken dinners and standard forms of donor recognition aren’t enough. It’s time to get real and get creative.

3) 90% had never donated through Facebook.
This is shocking to me, especially given the fact that most of them preferred to give online. Does this mean that nonprofits are not effectively asking through Facebook? Or, instead, does it mean that nonprofits are effectively engaging through Facebook AND getting the donors to click-through and donate via their website. I don’t know but I hope it’s the latter.

Either way, nonprofits can look at ways to improve the numbers of millennial s (and others) donating through Facebook. The survey mentioned safety concerns as one of the reasons only 10% were donating through Facebook. Don’t let that stop you. You can make the ask via Facebook but offer links so that the actual donations come via your website.

The millennial generation is here to stay as is this new fangled internet thing. Thanks to the Millennial Donors Survey, we have more information about how we can reach this increasingly powerful population. I’ve offered a few key facts here but there are many more included in this report. It’s definitely worth a read.

If you’ve had success reaching out to the millennial generations, I’d love to hear about it. Please post your comments here or share them on www.facebook.com/JennysJunction.

 

 

 

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Chains of Habit: Online Giving and the Millennial Generation

Online giving is a pivotal way to attract and retain the next generation of donors. According to the Millennial Donor Survey, 49% of Millennials of gave online.  This survey included responses from nearly 3,000 people between the ages of 25 and 35. It provides valuable insights for nonprofits wishing to use online philanthropy to create chains of habit.

Communicating with Millennials
Millennials expect to give and prefer to give online.  According to the survey, the top 2 preferred methods of communication are via the web and email. They also expect nonprofits to use electronic means of communicating – social media, websites, enewsletters – to keep in touch. For this generation, the print newsletter is a dinosaur.

Soliciting gifts from Millennials
According to the survey, the top 2 preferred methods of being solicited for a donation are via a personal request and online.

Online giving allows for easy peer-to-peer asks which result in larger giving circles. It is ideal for capturing the attention of this generation and it is ideal for nonprofits who want to increase their donor pool.

Of the Millennials who gave online, about half gave $150 or below. The Millennial generation is the least financially established of all the generations. Their gifts are often small; however, they are making the commitment to give to social causes. They are forming chains of habit.

Chains of habit
We know that past behavior is a predictor to future behavior. What we do today, we are likely to do tomorrow. When we graciously (and creatively!) solicit and accept smaller donations online, we are paving the road to long term donor relationships.

“Chains of habit are generally

too small to be felt until they are

too strong to be broken.”

~Samuel Johnson

 

What are YOU doing to create the chains of habit?
In order to help nonprofits maximize online philanthropy and create ‘chains of habit, I’ve created Online Giving 2012: Your Best Year Ever. This yearlong webinar course will help you master the core competencies of online philanthropy – online relationship building, enewsletters, social media strategy, online giving campaigns, branding, and more.

You will:

  • Create your 2012 Online Giving Road Map
  • Develop an engaged social media community
  • Deliver an enewsletter donors wait for
  • Raise funds via a successful online giving campaign

Monthly Course Webinars include:*

Jan: Online Giving ~ Are you Ready? (30 min – free)
Feb: Creating Your Roadmap for Online Giving
Mar: Leaving Your Mark ~ Branding, SEO, & the Web
April: You’ve Got My Ear ~ Donors and Enewsletters
May: Online Cultivation ~ Donors and Social Media
June: The Anatomy of an Ask ~ Designing Your Online Fundraising Campaign
July: Testing the Waters ~ Warming Your Audience with Small Online Asks
Aug: Bonus Class ~ Participants vote on the topic
Sept: PowerHour ~ Review and provide feedback on classmates’ campaigns
Oct: It’s You, Online ~ Using Your Personal Brand to Maximize Fundraising Nov: Final Push ~ Harnessing the best fundraising month of the year
Dec: Bonus Class ~ Participants vote on the topic

Save $225!
Purchase the yearlong series for $275 by January 31st and save $225! That is a $75 savings off of the full price of the year ($350) plus two FREE 30 minute coaching sessions valued at $150.  What a deal!

Click here to Register for the full year

Are you ready to harness the power of online giving?
Receive two free 30 minute coaching sessions when you register now for Online Giving 2012: Your Best Year Ever!  These coaching sessions can be used at any time throughout the year.

Want more information? The first webinar is free! This webinar Online Giving: Are You Ready will articulate the core competencies needed for a successful online giving campaign. It will lay out the road map for the course and show you exactly what you can do to make 2012 your best year ever.

Click here Register for the first webinar

If you have questions about the course, please ask me on Facebook or send me an email at jenniferamandajones@gmail.com.

5 Tips for A ROCK SOLID Enewsletter

Enewsletters are the bread and butter of online philanthropy.
Yes social media is important – indispensable even – in online fundraising. But remember. . . enewsletters allow you the opportunity to control the message, a luxury social media does not afford.

A great enewsletter can

  • raise funds,
  • encourage in-kind donations,
  • inspire volunteer contributions, and
  • increase overall awareness.

If you are considering starting an enewsletter or if you want to revitalize your current one, read on. . .

5 Tips for A ROCK SOLID Enewsletter

1) Start with a good list. Your mailing list is the ticket to success. Make sure everyone has opted in and that you are following CAN-SPAM laws. These laws are a bit more lenient for nonprofits than for-profits but don’t be fooled: everyone must opt-in. It is more valuable to have a short list of highly motivated readers than a long list of people who think you’re spam.

2) Provide excellent content. Only send out enewsletters as often as you can provide excellent content. As with social media, it is important that enewsletters not be sales pitches. Here are some ideas nonprofits have used:

  • Highlight a donor
  • Give a client testimonial
  • Feature a volunteer
  • Provide an update to a noteworthy program
  • Share how things in the world (economy, politics, etc.) affect your clients or your agency
  • Share your expertise in the form of tips and resources for the reader

3) Be consistent. If you send out the enewsletters sporadically, people will forget they have signed up. If they forget they signed up, they will opt-out. Bad news. Instead, send the newsletters consistently. Once a month is a good place to start. Only if you have a lot of new, valuable content, should you consider doing it more often. If you are wondering what days and times to send the enewsletter, consider mid-week (Tues, Weds, Thurs) either late morning or early afternoon. You can experiment and see what days/times work best for your list.

4) Don’t fuss about open rates. If you are getting an open rate of 20-30%, you’re doing a good job. We can always strive for better but remember this: even if people don’t open the email, they still see your name. That bit of brand recognition goes a long way.

5) Cross pollinate. Share your enewsletter on your social media accounts. Include in your email signature line a link to the web version. Add a link to your website. It’s okay to include some of the same content on all of these accounts. Just make sure that the content is appropriate for the space – no 500 word Facebook posts.

Enewsletters remain one of the best and least expensive ways to communicate with donors, clients, and the larger community.

If you’d like assistance setting up or revitalizing your enewsletters, email me today at jenniferamandajones@gmail.com.

Got ideas? Share your best tips below!