Report Examines Millennial Donors' Giving, Engagement Habits

Although members of the Millennial generation are often associated with texting, Facebook, and other new communications technologies and platforms, donors in that age group put a high value on face-to-face communication when it comes to requests for their time or money, a new report from Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle Associates finds.

Based on a survey of more than 2,200 Americans between the ages of 20 and 40, the report, Millennial Donors: A Study of Millennial Giving and Engagement Habits (21 pages, PDF), found that 91 percent of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to respond to a face-to-face request for money from a nonprofit, while only 8 percent said they were highly likely to respond to an e-mail request. However, e-mail is Millennial donors' preferred communication method, with 93 percent of respondents favoring it for receiving information from organizations, followed by Facebook (23.8 percent) and print (26.9 percent).

The report also found that 71.9 percent of the Millennials surveyed said they do not need to volunteer for an organization before they donate; 60.5 percent said they would like to have access to board and executive leadership; and 71.7 percent said they would be willing to communicate with friends and family about ways to be involved in an organization they support. In light of these findings, the report recommends that nonprofits encourage their development staffs to focus more on face-to-face contacts and relationship building, work with donors who are willing to build networks with friend and family, and incorporate Millennial donors into strategic planning and organizational development.

"Millennial donors want more than a transactional relationship. They want to be engaged," said Achieve CEO Derrick Feldmann. "They need to feel a connection with an organization, and they want opportunities for deeper involvement, such as opportunities to work with leadership and to help craft direction for the organization. Plus, they want to know specifically how their gifts will benefit the organization's constituents."