Giving Away Four Free Passes To Millennial Donor Summit 2012 | Beth's Blog

Giving Away Four Free Passes To Millennial Donor Summit 2012

Conferences, Research Studies

MCON 2012,  a virtual summit to help nonprofit leaders learn how to engage the Millennial generation as donors, takes place online on July 19.   The schedule features an impressive list of Millennials and others who are experts on this topic.   The conference registration is $99-$125, but I have four passes to give away to the four best answers to this question:   Why do you think it is important for nonprofits to engage Millennials both inside and outside of their organizations?

Three years ago, the first study on Millennial donor engagement was published by Achieve and partner JGA. This study provided the necessary understanding of how the generation gives and engages with nonprofit organizations.

This year’s study on Millennial engagement with nonprofits is out and can be downloaded here.  This year’s study had more than 6,500 Millennials, 3 focus groups and 90 nonprofit professionals respond/participate.
The Chronicle on Philanthropy announced the findings this morning online in two separate articles here and here.
In 2011 the first virtual convening, MDS11, was held with the Case Foundation to explore ideas, strategies, and to hear directly from experts on how to organize millennial engagement programs.  What better way to learn about the generation than through the next generation at the conferences?

This year Achieve, with partner the Case Foundation, is hosting another virtual conference, MCON, to hear directly from organizations on how they are engaging Millennials and to understand how experts in the field are advising nonprofits nationwide on creative Millennial involvement.

What better way to learn about the generation than through the next generation of conferences?

I’m one of the bloggers and I will be covering a session called “Leveraging Peer Influence” with Paull Young, Charity Water and Holly Ross, NTEN.  The description.

Peer influence is the driving force behind some of the most successful fundraising and advocacy campaigns we see today. This session will feature examples from organizations building movements to engage Millennial through their peers, friends, and social networks.

For your chance to win a free pass, leave a comment that answers the question: Why is it important to engage Millennials inside and outside your organization.

30 Responses

  1. Brian Block says:

    One of the biggest issues I see on some nonprofit boards/committees I sit on is the disconnect between the way old school leadership secures involvement and donations and how Millennials secure involvement and donations. The way in which successful nonprofit operations/programming have been carried out is still in the process of changing dramatically for many who haven’t either secured Mellinnial input or leadership in their organizations. Without Mellinnial engagement now, support for older, local or smaller nonprofits may dry up as older generations of leadership leave or pass on while larger, more hip organizations steal the show. By connecting various generations of current and future leaders, affective nonprofits can continue to evolve without any transitions hurting the nonprofit beneficiaries. (Full Disclosure, I’m a Millennial)

  2. Glenn says:

    I’m a proponent of Outside-In thinking which means we need to consider our “customers” needs and motivations when planning our strategies.

    We can offer them networking opportunities-both social and professional, resume building skills, and the opportunities to make a difference in their communities or the larger world now.

    In turn, they provide us with fresh ideas, enthusiasm, manpower, donations, and the ability to tap into their peers in a way other generations can’t.

    Many of us can offer them ways to protect themselves and their family members against disease, accidents, or improve their quality of life (education & literacy). In those cases, it’s vital to engage them both inside and outside the organization.

    I believe millenials are now the largest generation in terms of numbers. We would be foolish not to reach out to them, especially as our mature and boomer volunteers and donors go on to their greater rewards.

    Finally, I don’t know of any nonprofit that couldn’t use more effective marketing. Engaging millenials, given their size, is a great way to raise the visibility of our missions and programs.

  3. dayamudra says:

    Our organization serves youth in India, so getting global youth involved in all levels of our vision is key. Millenials are passionate, creative, resourceful, interconnected and committed. We need to get out of the way and learn from them. They have so many ides for connecting with other young people to spread the message, host fun events, and encourage investment. And using social media, online tools, and new computer programs and apps are PLAY for them.

    Most importantly, it is the optimism and confidence of this generation which will take our work forward. I guess I am “middle aged” now, in my 40’s, and I find collaborating with the millenial generation to be FUN. This is why I committed to this work in the first place!

  4. Sam Davidson says:

    I’ve found that Millennials can offer a “place of possibility.” Their idealism – which can turn off some realists – can usher in a breath of fresh air. They can provide the “why not” to someone’s “why should we?”

    And from a very practical standpoint, you won’t have any donors tomorrow if you don’t have young ones today. You can embed a culture of successful growth and succession in your org if you have a plan for how today’s $5 donor is the next decade’s $5,000 donor. That can happen if you get to know them now and keep them engaged with the stories of your impact.

  5. I think it’s important to for nonprofits to engage Millennials both inside and outside of their organizations, so that this generation of donors feels pasionate about their cause.

    Donors often turn into volunteers, and volunteers into staff. If they’re in a different generation from their predacessors, that’s a good thing. It can lead to new ideas for the organization and different ways of acomplishing their goal.

    As a member of the millenial generation, I want to feel that my actions are important. I may not be able to give large sums now, but over my lifetime I will be, and I’ll remember which organizations treated me as a person and who treated me as an ATM (with narry a thank you note).

  6. Organizations form a symbiotic ecosystem with their staff: their staff work to better the organization, and in turn, the organization should work to better its staff. As one improves, so does the other.

    Millennials (myself included) are quickly becoming integral parts of the nonprofit/philanthropic sector and have at least as much to contribute to an organization’s work and culture as that organization has to contribute to their personal and professional development. In doing this we are cultivating not only the next generation of leadership, but also building a lasting bond with a generation that will inherit (at some point) the bulk of financial wealth in the world. That would mean the difference in millennial contribution will shift from providing intellectual capital to financial capital as they (we) pass the torch to the next generation. I think Sam Davidson says it best above, “You can embed a culture of successful growth and succession in your org if you have a plan for how today’s $5 donor is the next decade’s $5,000 donor.”

    Millennials are a part of our organizations. How we activate them today will affect how they impact our sector tomorrow.

  7. Joan Grey says:

    We are trying to empower women vets and military spouses through mentoring focused on job placement and career advancement. Younger veterans—millenials—are having a particularly hard time transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace. We need to find them so we can help them. How can we spread the word in order to expand our work? Looking for mentees, mentors and partners.

    Joining Forces Mentoring Plus is a FREE mentoring program for women veterans and military spouses.

  8. Marcy Handler says:


  9. Our organization is based in the US and serves in West Africa. Part of our mission is to expose Americans, particularly Millenials to service opportunities.

    All individuals need to be engaged to find their niche to serve and support in ways to improve lives.

    Millenials not only need to be engaged, they need to be empowered.

    We see this generation as a connected “tribe”; they can set the world on fire with viral news and action because of their social/technical connections.

    As members of the future generation, Millenials need a place at the table to create new visions, programs, operating models and transition plans, as well as to mature as donor-stakeholders.

  10. Katie Richlick says:

    Why is it important to engage Millennials inside and outside your organization.

    Millennials represent the largest generation since the Baby Boomers and they/we are known as being connectors. If organizations don’t work to engage us, they WILL lose our support and our family’s support as we grow older. More so, Millennials need to be engaged as a whole because of the power they harness to take service/civic responsibility up a level. My generation grew up in a world of service-learning and have been involved in volunteer activities from a young age. We see the difference we can make in this world and more importantly, understand the connections we need to utilize to make that change happen.

  11. The easy answer to this question is that Millennial generation is full of tech-savvy future donors who if connected to your organization now, are more likely to give dollars in the future once they reach the age of financial/career stability.
    To me, the deeper answer is that the Millennial generation is full of passionate, intelligent, inquisitive professionals that want not only to know exactly how their dollars (and time) makes a difference, but also want that impact to be immediate and effective. As the world continues to get smaller and more connected, it is more important than ever for non-profits to be transparent and held accountable. The Millennial generation demands both of these things from organizations. By involving them now, they help to shape the path that nonprofits will take in order to appeal and become relevant to future generations.

  12. First and foremost it is a numbers game. As an organization we need customers to exist. They represent the largest chunk of the market so you go where the numbers. Also, they are constantly changing how the game is played in terms of communication, technology, and life-style. If we do not understand them internally we wont retain there talent. If we don’t understand them externallynwe won’t retain their time, talent, or treasure. I hate to be so numerically based but the fact of the matter is what makes them so important is the sheer number in their cohort and how there thinking patterns will affect business and policy for the next 60 years.

  13. Maria Levis says:

    Young people have been the force behind most successful social movements. Engaging their collective efforts affords non-profits a powerful resource that can provide time, money, talent, but more over energy to sustain and grow the organizations momentum towards attaining social change.

  14. Kate Londen says:

    When talking about engaging young people you often hear the word “future.” Young people are our future. We have to think of the future and engage youth. This is all true. Young people will be the future of any organization, but young people are also our present. There are so many young people doing great things, engaging in causes they care about, and actively working to improve their communities. In the infographic cited above you can see this is true – 63% volunteer and 75% give money. Working with and prioritizing young people doesn’t just build a base for the future, they can be the base now.

    If organizations are going to take engaging young people seriously, then they must invest in young people on the inside of their organizations. It is all too obvious, and much too common, when an organization tries to produce programming and materials for young people, but has no young people on staff. In order to genuinely and effectively reach out to young people on the outside, there must be young people on the inside – and not only as interns.

  15. Mark R. Phillips says:

    Why do you think it is important for nonprofits to engage Millennials both inside and outside of their organizations?

    Millennials are social aware, connected and engaged. They are also skeptical of claims without proof, even from the organizations they love, and they expect transparency, feedback and a clear connection between their gift and a positive, tangible outcome. As Millennials become the primary workforce in America, nonprofits will increasingly depend on their generosity. Because of this, it is important to shift to a new way of engaging and communicating that matches the expectations of Millennials.

  16. Kate Hopkins says:

    For my organization, one of our biggest challenges on the development end is finding the right balance between outreach and true development. When we put lots of energy and staff time into casting the wide net that draws in a younger generation, 2,000 new contacts engaged at the $12 level, we may have to scramble to raise the funds that drive our organization’s extensive programs- having somewhat neglected the needs and interests of our committed base.

    For me as a young professional, I’m fascinated by my own idealism and passion. I have moments of inspired clarity when I engage with good ideas through social media. So what we’ll be trying to consider in the coming years is how to inspire and harness those moments, without neglecting our stalwart members and donors. Social media has an incredibly democratizing effect on “inspiration” as a commidity or thing…we want to be working alongside that and bringing that inspired young energy back to serve the organization, and inspire our staff and long-term committed donors and members.

  17. Justin Hime says:

    If we don’t, they’ll simply bypass our respective organizations, rendering them irrelevant, on their way to start their own.

  18. Rich Basofin says:

    Many nonprofits are facing severe funding shortages. The dollars available from government are limited and shrinking. There has been a tendency to focus on “top down” fund development through foundations, corporations, and large donors. All well and good but these funding sources are also stretched. Perhaps it is time to take a “bottom up” approach which would include use of social media. (The Obama campaign raised close to $1 billion in 2008–most of it through modest contributions in the $10-$25 range). The Millennial generation is a perfect fit for this approach.

  19. Jane Hinton says:

    Millenials are the future of Powerful Voices, where we help strong girls become strong women. Inside our organization, alumnae are already engaged as volunteers with our organization and are looking for other ways to support our mission as they live it out in their own lives. Outside of our organization is a generation of young women and men who are re-connecting to a feminist identity, as the war on women raises their awareness of social justice issues. Powerful Voices wants to show millenials how their gift will make a difference.

  20. B. A. says:

    More and more millenials are getting their information about us from anyone and everyone BUT us. Social media, friends, blogs… if we don’t engage this generation from all possible aspects, they’re going to hear about us from someone else, and it may not be the same motivating, heart warming story that we typically like to promote. All they may hear is that we help raise money for scholarships. “Ok… that’s cool I guess…” But what we want them to hear is that we improve the lives of people who wouldn’t normally be able to improve their lives on their own. We change the future by getting the next generation of scholars into school and helping them flesh out their big ideas. But they won’t necessarily hear that from their friends, so we need to be out there promoting our brand and mission in every possible avenue. And this isn’t a non-strategy. Filling every channel and casting a wide net IS the strategy.

  21. Katie says:

    It’s got to be new, exiting – presented through social media with a draw that will hook a small group that can then ignite interest in your cause. A new type of active innovative fundraiser, volunteer opportunities that are contained and meaningful, donation campaigns with a social challenge to engage them in the process. With the an uncertain future marked with high dept(college loans, insurance,higher cost of living)and a tight job market – feeling like you have extra money to donate to causes is a hard concept to sell. Those with money often want to start their own non profits – figuring out how to encourage that commitment and allow that independence within current organizations could be a key to engagement

  22. Beth Fussner says:

    Why is it important to engage Millennials both inside and outside of our organization?

    Because every generation should be empowered to give their gifts at each life stage! In this way humanity reaps the riches of multiple perspectives, and all resources can be brought to bear on the planet’s greatest challenges. The Millennial generation will develop their wisdom, strength, generosity and creativity when they are able to be engaged in every level of involvement, from financial support to policy-making.

  23. Mud Baron says:

    I liked this page. One click. Simple. And my network of a thousand or so “friends” were connected to this article. Millennial giving as well also happens amongst networks. If you give online, savvy nonprofits allow for you to tweet it to your 25 or 25,000 followers. Giving is not simply an anonymous act. It’s a conversation with your networks. 

    Kickstarter has evolved within this landscape of millennial social networking and giving. Being a backer is “friending” a project. You are suddenly wedded to a musician, urban school garden or startup along with all the other backers. For millennials giving means friending as much as being a donor. 

  24. Kimberly says:

    The sheer force of innovation provided by Millennials is reason enough to engage them in the mission of any organization, but perhaps the most compelling reason is that they are of a generation that rarely accepts the status quo. There is no reason to recreate the wheel, but there is also no doubt that the wheel can be made to move more quickly and be more efficient.

    Internally, Millennials encourage a fresh look at programs and implementation, and have the passion and ingenuity to create solutions for grand challenges. The idea that “this is how it has always been done” is foreign to them. Externally, Millennials demand results that hold organizations accountable and have the ability to increase, or decrease, an organization’s scope of influence with the click of a button. There is little question that an organization that cannot engage them will not have sufficient capacity to function long-term.

  25. Janet Shing says:

    It’s important to engage all groups of one’s stakeholders but millenials are especially important because they are in touch with the the ideas, thinking and values that non-millenials are most unfamiliar. Everyone has something to contribute. Us non-millenials need to reach out and meet our newest colleagues halfway.

  26. Jerome Krug says:

    Why is it important to engage Millennials inside and outside our organization?

    Giving is all about relationships, and relationships are built on trust. My generation is one which puts a great deal of emphasis on relationships and also has problems with trust. I see the reason there is greater focus on relationship and simultaneously a lack of trust as deeply related components of the same situation. Since we have a hard time trusting we look towards those people and organizations we do trust more deeply. It is important to engage the Millennials so that they trust us and our organizations from the beginning developing deep mutually beneficial and trusting relationships.

  27. Because one of these days, a Millenial will be your boss!

    Because some of my best friends are Millenials, and I have to be able to communicate with people who don’t set up the answering service on their smart phones.

    Because some of my best friends’ children are Millenials, and someone’s got to be willing to let the parents know what’s really going on with their kids.

    Because the Millenials I know – and I may be looking at a very, very skewed sample – have a wonderful, relaxed approach to life that I admire. They see themselves in a global context, connected to everyone on the planet and have a genuine love of authenticity and see being of service as simply normal. I really enjoy that…

  28. Claire says:

    It is important to engage Millennials inside and outside my organization because they (we) are our future donors — if they aren’t giving to us already. Nonprofits need to adjust to new communication styles, new ways of thinking, new challenges. The Millennial generation is already tackling these ideas head on and we need to stay afloat!

  29. Maury says:

    There’s a lot to be said about the forthcoming wealth transfer, how Millenials are the donors of tomorrow and the energy they bring to social causes. But, in my opinion, the most valuable asset is the knowledge capital and innovation that Millenials can apply to their charitable endeavors. There are a number of recent articles on leadership and creativity that show how breakthroughs and innovation rarely come from within the institution or sector that is struggling to discover them. Often, these quantum leaps come from outliers. To me, Millenials represent the outliers to our nonprofit sector. Their ability to fuel innovations in how we research, report, volunteer, give and live is the key to our success. Their knowledge and use of new technologies is sure to drive the sector, so why wouldn’t it be the most important reason for engaging them.

  30. Rachael says:

    Top 5 reasons to love a Millennial

    1. Energy and enthusiasm for your cause (In/Out benefit)

    2. Giving to support your cause. And, if they are engaged in your organization early on, you can become their charity of choice for a lifetime.

    3. Networks, influence. They can raise the profile of your organization

    4. They know stuff. They like to share. Let them share.

    5. They are people, before they became a market segment, and nonprofits need people; and great nonprofits value all people who want to invest their time, talent and sometimes treasure in the mission and vision of your nonprofit.

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