in Nonprofits

Millennials want to make a serious impact and you can help


The Millennial Generation—the 80 million born between 1980 and 2000—has arrived! Like the generations before them, these young people are getting jobs and going mainstream, but with their own style. It turns out this generation has BIG plans for the future of the social good sector.  

  • Millennials would rather make more impact than make more money.
  • 70% of Millennials count “giving back and being civically engaged” as their highest priority.
  • A staggering 83% of Millennials gave to charities in 2012.
  • And nearly 73% volunteered for a nonprofit in 2012.
What does this mean for you? Millennials are a goldmine of potential volunteers, donors, advocates and employees for your organization. If you haven’t yet thought about how to engage this group, here are a few things to consider:


1. Your outdated website is turning off 80 million potential donors.

70% of Millennials prefer to donate online and 75% of Millennials are discouraged by an outdated website design. To reach this group where they are giving, it’s crucial that you adapt to their web and mobile design standards.
It may be time to rethink your website visual design. Freshly designed sites and strong calls-to-action are key to get this generation to actually donate. But most importantly, Millennials need to understand exactly where their dollars are going. Use compelling visuals and graphics to illustrate your social impact.


2. Licking envelopes won’t cut it. Millennials demand more out of their volunteer experiences.

75% of Millennials think their biggest impact comes from contributions other than financial, such as skills-based volunteering or serving on an advisory committee. They will pass on uninspiring volunteer opportunities, so take the time to get volunteer projects just right.
We’ve seen firsthand that Millennials who have a great volunteer experience are more likely to donate financially and continue advising the organization.

3. Get a Millennial on board.

With a Millennial voice represented on your organization’s board, you will have insight into young donors, access to new tools (likely the latest social media tricks) and a network that regularly supports their friends’ causes.
If you are open to learning from them, the Millennials have many skills to share. This is also the perfect chance to cultivate successors.

4. Engaging Millennials isn’t rocket science.

Ask them to give in ways that make the most sense for them. Interact with them on social media. Use fewer words, more visuals. Think email and mobile, immediate and shareable.
One of our favorite tips: Millennials love a good story. Better yet, let a visual or graphic be your 1000 words.


5. Millennials will turn down jobs at Fortune 500 companies to work for mission-driven organizations.

This group of 80 million future employees is looking to work with innovative, socially-oriented organizations that reflect their values. Millennials don’t separate giving back from their day to day work.
Reach this mission-driven talent pool by using social media to post job openings and internships. Include hashtags like #hiring #jobs #jobsearch #millennials #makeadifference or #nonprofitjobs.


And to dive a little deeper into the Millennial mindset, check out:
The Next Generation of American Giving
Millennial Searchers
Meet some of Catchafire’s Millennial professionals:
Donna is a graphic designer and illustrator with a philanthropic heart.
Chris & Ryan teamed up on a Social Media Campaign.
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Write a Comment


  1. I would love to connect with Millennials in your network, bring some into AFRILINK network – – board, leadership council, Friends of AFRILINK, etc.,

    Does the mission of AFRILINK resonate with any individuals in your network? Let me know and I will reach out to them.

    Thank you,


  2. That’s great Ahuma! I just took a quick peek at Afrilink’s site and think that you should definitely reach out to Millennials. Your work with entrepreneurs in Africa is sure to spur excitement within our community.

    A great way to start is by listing a Catchafire project or posting on our dashboard to ask the community for their advice.