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5 Ways to Engage Younger Donors on GivingTuesday

According to GivingTuesday’s look back at 2022, younger generations were more generous than older generations globally. Nonprofit organizations need to start thinking about engaging younger generations to sustain their donor pool long-term.

GivingTuesday falls on November 28th this year and provides an excellent opportunity for nonprofits to engage with younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how nonprofits can leverage GivingTuesday to engage younger donors and turn them into lasting advocates for their cause.

1. Get Active on Social Media

Younger donors are very active on social media. Make sure your nonprofit has a strong presence on social media platforms, especially those favored by younger audiences like Instagram and TikTok. If you are at a loss for what sort of content to share on these platforms, check out what other nonprofits in your arena are doing.

Start planning now; you can create your content ahead of time and schedule it to go out on GivingTuesday. On the day of, make sure you are staying active on social media. Respond quickly to comments and use it as an opportunity to start important conversations with younger prospects.

Keep in mind social media best practices, such as using relevant hashtags, launching challenges, and encouraging user-generated content to create buzz and excitement. Don’t forget to include compelling calls to action in your posts. They should ultimately direct supporters to your donation page or encourage them to share your cause with their audiences. Social media engagement on GivingTuesday can be the catalyst for younger donors to take action and become recurring supporters.

Examples of User-Generated Content for GivingTuesday:

  • Nonprofit Land Trust: Encourage hikers to go out on GivingTuesday and share their photos on social media.
  • Marine Plastic Pollution Nonprofit: Challenge people to go plastic-free for a day and share their tips/experiences across social media.
  • Animal Shelter: Ask those who have adopted pets from them to share photos of their dogs in their “forever homes” on social media.

Keep in mind that you should outline the parameters for GivingTuesday participation ahead of time. Make it easy for your supporters by offering templates, caption ideas, who they should tag, and what hashtags to use.

2. Optimize Your Donation Pages for Mobile

If you are planning on engaging younger donors via social media, ensure your donation pages are optimized for mobile. Many young people will be accessing your website from their phones. While most websites are mobile-friendly, it is important to check your website from a smartphone and make sure there are no formatting issues. It is also helpful to check mobile speed; many donors will drop off if it takes a long time for your page to load.

Your donation pages should be able to accept donations via mobile. If you are using DonorSnap, all of our responsive donation forms are mobile-friendly, meaning they will display well and work on a mobile device.

3. Encourage Recurring Giving

Most nonprofits will receive many first-time donors on GivingTuesday with the expanded reach the day offers them. Unfortunately, many of those first-time donors become one-time donors. Nonprofits need to have an effective way to retain GivingTuesday donors if they want their campaign efforts to be worthwhile.

One way to combat this is to highlight the value of recurring giving. Many younger donors such as Gen Z or Millennials prefer recurring gifts because it is financially better for them to make small monthly gifts vs. one larger one.

Make sure you have a recurring giving option on your donation forms. Also, follow best practices to build and brand a successful recurring giving program.

4. Use Text Messaging

According to the “Giving by Generation,” a special report from Giving USA, both a large portion of Gen Z and Millennial donors said they would be responsive to text messages from nonprofits. Text messaging can be a valuable tool for nonprofits to send important messages they know won’t be missed.

It is important to only text message people who have opted into your list. Also, save text messages for the most important messages and use it sparingly. You don’t want to overwhelm your donors with too many text messages.

An example of an effective way nonprofits can use text messaging to reach younger donors is on the day of GivingTuesday. Send out a reminder text halfway through the day to people who have not yet given that you are close to reaching your goal but need them to help you close the gap.

DonorSnap integrates with the text messaging tool Twilio, which allows nonprofits to craft text message campaigns right from the DonorSnap system. When a donor responds, you can continue the conversation with them within DonorSnap.

5. Create Personalized Asks

More than any other generation, Gen Z and Millennials will be turned off by generic messaging from a nonprofit. This is why it is important to create personalized communication pieces for this cohort. If you are a DonorSnap user, you can easily create segmented lists based on predefined criteria to offer more personalized communication.

Examples of how you can personalize your GivingTuesday messages to donors include:

  • Use preferred name or salutation (no ‘Dear Friend’)
  • If they gave last year on GivingTuesday, mention this and the impact it had
  • Acknowledge their level of engagement, whether they are a long-time supporter, a recurring donor, or a first-time contributor
  • Thank long-term donors for their continued loyalty and support

Final Thoughts

GivingTuesday is a great opportunity for nonprofits to engage younger donors. A strong social media presence, mobile-optimized donation pages, emphasis on recurring giving, strategic text messaging, and personalized communication are key to capturing and sustaining support from Gen Z and Millennials. Leveraging this day effectively not only secures immediate contributions but also cultivates lasting relationships, ensuring sustainable support for nonprofits long-term.

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