Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 Views: 6225

5 Ways to Market Your Nonprofit to Millennials

Nonprofit Marketing
Post by Tara Ippolito, GreatNonprofits’ Social Media and Marketing Intern and resident Millennial expert. 

We all know that Millennials, or adults born between the years of 1981 and 1997, are the generation of social media and selfies. But did you know that this fascinating group of young adults has the potential to pack serious impact?

Check out these stats:

  • By 2018, Millennials will have the most spending power of any generation.
  • They are expected to eclipse Boomers in annual spending power at $3.39 trillion. That’s some serious power!
  • According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, 84 percent of the millennials surveyed made a charitable donation in 2014, most of which were in increments of less than $100.

While millennial lingo and trends can be hard to follow, there are simple ways to get this group interested in and engaged with your nonprofit.

 1. Utilize Social Media Marketing

From MySpace and Friendster to Facebook and Instagram, the hippest social media sites are always evolving. Ninety-percent of American Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use social networking sites. It’s the easiest way to reach a large population of Millennials. Try to make everything on your site shareworthy!

Photos and videos are the single greatest way to increase visibility. By creating a distinct brand for yourself on all social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), you can generate incredible content that will hit home with younger users. Take a look at Best Friends Animal Society; they do an amazing job of posting frequent, relevant content that makes users stop and pay attention.

Nonprofit Marketing- Best Friends Animal Society

2. Focus on your Cause in all Marketing

Millennials are in constant contact with advertisements. Your cause, not just branding, is the most important thing to relay to Millennials. When they find something they are passionate about they latch on. Eighty-five percent of Millennials say they are motivated by a compelling mission or cause. When on an organization’s website, nearly 90 percent of millennials first look at the mission, so make it clear, concise, and compelling. We know your nonprofit is doing amazing things to change the world; make that your primary message!
Take a look at Girls Write Now to see how they share their cause!

Girls Write Now- Nonprofit Marketing

3. Stay up to Date on Technology

When millennials are looking at a site, the biggest turnoff (75 percent) was information that had not been recently updated. You want the information on your site to be up to date and easy to find. Fortunately, you don’t need a software engineer or a knowledge of coding to have a great website, there are plenty of do-it-yourself website creators out there (such as Wix or Squarespace) to help you make and maintain a great site.

While in-person fundraisers and outreach are important, your online outreach is vital. Seventy percent of millennials surveyed made their donations via the organization’s website, and 41% of Millennials have made purchases with their smartphones. So if you can, try to be as mobile friendly as possible!

Check out The Nature Conservancy for a look at a mobile-friendly, up-to-date site.

Nature Conservancy- Nonprofit Marketing

4. Be as transparent as possible

Millennials are smart and resourceful. They will do their research before donating to your nonprofit. They want to understand why donating was a worthwhile decision, so tell them! Try to follow up with photos, progress reports; anything that will help them understand that they made a difference. They value impact. Seventy-eight percent are likely to stop donating if they don’t know how their donation is making a difference.

Charity: Water does an awesome job of clearly showing where and how they are utilizing donations. They display this information on their website, and constantly show photos and videos of their team hard at work.Charity Water- Nonprofit Marketing

5. Share your stories

UGC, or user-generated content, is a huge part of Millennials’ online research. We visit Yelp before making restaurant reservations, we check reviews before buying clothing, books, and electronics. Millennials will do the same before donating to your nonprofit. Eighty-four percent of Millennials report that user-generated content on company websites has at least some influence on what they buy.

Are you sharing the stories your volunteers and donors are writing about your organization on Our site has tools for you to download all the stories that have been written about your nonprofit, then you can use these stories on social media, direct mail, emails, and anything else you can think of. Millennials want to hear from like-minded people about why they give to your organization, so make these stories front and center on your site! Check out for some great inspiration! Nonprofit Marketing


Combine these tips to make sure your nonprofit is reaching out to Millennials in a compelling way. Let us know in the comments below how this approach is working for your organization!