Appealing to Millennial Donors


Soliciting a major gift from any donor requires multiple conversations and good listening skills to understand their motives for making a difference. However, Millennial donors, particularly those who earned their wealth fast and early on, tend to lean towards certain giving preferences. Felicity Meu, a consultant at the Stanford Effective Philanthropy Lab, shares her takeaways for appealing to these next-generation donors.

Not surprisingly, technology plays a large role as younger donors tend to find and make their first gift online. Meu urges organizations to have a plan in place for building an ongoing relationship with these first-time givers. Millennials will also target organizations that are doing something new and want to volunteer in new ways too. Instead of letting the organization decide their role, they prefer to offer their vocational skills in a highly tailored way. While it can be difficult for organizations to structure their volunteer programs this way, for the right donors it's worth it.

An interesting gap in the current landscape? Trusted third-party advisors. Wealthy Millennials are often looking for someone they can go to for good advice. For those donors who are open to it, Meu recommends pairing them with a mentor who has been through it before. And while this generation is perhaps rightfully obsessed with "impact," there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to measuring it. It means something different to every donor and still requires thoughtful conversations between fundraiser and donor to come to an understanding. LEARN MORE