Engaging Younger Volunteers & Donors: New Trends

Written by: Melissa Noyes

Yesterday Kristin and I attended a lunch sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) here in Indy.  The speaker was Derrick Feldmann (from Achieve); he spoke about targeting fundraising to Millennials and younger generations.  Achieve and JGA have put out a fantastic study about Millennial donors.  You can take a look at it at www.millennialdonors.com.

One of the points that stuck out to us during Derrick’s talk was the concept of peer-to-peer fundraising.  Younger generations respond very well to appeals for donations if the message comes from someone who is in their peer group.  Colleges and universities are using this strategy in their alumni fundraising and many nonprofit organizations are beginning to use this tactic as well.  Some examples of peer-to-peer fundraising models are Charity Water and The Michael J. Fox Foundation‘s www.teamfox.org.

Derrick also spoke about trends in volunteerism in younger generations.  Many younger volunteers want to get involved with your organization in a way that allows them to use their skill set.  A good strategy to recruit younger volunteers may be to tell them what your organization needs (i.e. help with marketing or social media or web design) instead of just selling volunteer opportunities that focus on community service-related tasks.   Another way to utilize a volunteer’s skill set could be in your fundraising department.  Derrick made a great point that it is impossible for a fundraising department to function effectively without the help of volunteers.  This would be a fantastic way to engage younger volunteers in your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. 

Young people may engage with your organization by using their skills sets FIRST, then form a strong connection to your mission.  This is opposite of the way that organizations usually think of volunteer recruitment, but I think it’s important that we realize this shift and take advantage of this different way of utilizing volunteers in the nonprofits.

How does your organization engage younger donors and volunteers?

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About catalystxchange

Catalyst X-Change, Inc. is a 501c3 serving the greater Indianapolis area. Catalyst was founded by two Millennials (Kristin Clements-Effner and Melissa Noyes) with a passion and a vision for world change. We believe that significant and positive change can happen when individuals come together and match their passions with tangible actions. Our mission is to advance community through meaningful action.
This entry was posted in Generation X, Millennials, Next Generation Leadership, Social Responsibility, Volunteering and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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