Starting Young: How to Solicit Millennials

By Anthony Lehnertz.

One of the most important aspects of creating a strong donor base is finding potential donors who can become loyal supporters for multiple decades. The longer you have to impress a donor and create trust in your organization, the better opportunities you will have to solicit major gifts in the future.

So it makes sense that finding millennials and turning them into loyal donors today would be a strategy for future success…but how do you successfully solicit such a young population? Here are some tips:

Hand-On Experiences

Of course the end goal of a fundraising solicitation is usually to receive some sort of cash value from a prospect; however, the best way to start cultivating a relationship with millennials may be to give them volunteering opportunities. Many millennials are looking for chances to get hands-on experience by participating in events to support their passions. By creating a volunteer out of a millennial, you are giving them an emotional connection to the organization.

Volunteering Millennials Results in Donating Millennials

The Forbes explains that the latest Millennial Impact Report, a survey of 2500 millennial employees, found that 84% made charitable donations last year. This is a very high percentage of the more than 80 million millennials in the United States today and shows that millennials are charitable as a generation. However, the most interesting data that came from this report


that 64% of Millennials support charity events, such as walks/runs/bike rides, because they had the opportunity to both support the organization monetarily and physically. Getting a millennial in the door with your organization through physical volunteer or engagement opportunities will likely result in a loyal donor base for the future.

Group Giving

We’ve established that giving is a societal norm for Millennials, but what seems to be unique about this generation is that giving is cool. Studies show that many millennials are open to opportunities that allow them to solicit their friends. Giving is becoming a social connection for millennials, a way for a number of friends to get together, write some checks, and make a true impact on the world. Creating events that encourage current donors to reach out to their friends can be a great opportunity to put your donors to work and increase your donor base.

Anthony Lehnertz is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Finance and Spanish while pursuing a certificate in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication. He continues to learn about the importance of philanthropy in higher education while interning at the University of Iowa Foundation.


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