‘Tis the season for giving!
Retailers consider Black Friday the official kick off to the giving season, but many nonprofits consider #GivingTuesday – the Tuesday after Cyber Monday – as the start.
And millennials are taking note.
According to the plethora of research on millennial behavior, Gen Y embraces social responsibility. Doing good is just what this generation does. At the same time, millennials believe in giving back – but not necessarily with money.
At Event Garde, one of our core beliefs is giving back. That’s part of the “network” in our new tagline: Learn. Network. Transfer. We give back, both personally and professionally, as responsible contributors to our community, and we welcome opportunities to partner and co-create with industry colleagues.
And so the new study by Achieve, a research and creative agency for causes and The Millennial Impact Project, caught my attention.
#GivingTuesday 2015: Attracting Millennial Donors looks at the behaviors of millennials during #GivingTuesday, which was Dec. 1. Millennials now outnumber baby boomers, according to Achieve, so their behavior can be key to creating a successful #GivingTuesday campaign.
The researchers studied nine organizations to learn how they engaged millennials in their campaigns. One thing is clear: Millennials value giving their time and skills and leveraging their networks as much as – if not more than – monetary giving.
All the nine research partners employed social media and electronic communications vehicles – such as websites and blogs – to build support. Some supplemented their efforts with printed materials and some used grassroots efforts to raise awareness and build excitement.
The organizations reported varying levels of success, but after analysis, there are some clear takeaways.
First, businesses and nonprofits should plan early. Identifying tactics, metrics and a timeline early allows them to strategically engage key audiences. This can happen through social media and electronic communications, but also through networking and during events.
The most successful organizations were those that leveraged their networks of millennials via social media and ambassadors – those who can use their partners and passions to recruit support. Engagement is key, Achieve says, because millennials will respond much more favorably to a call for action than to an request for money.
And this means thinking beyond digital engagement. While social media was an effective tool, those organizations that supplemented digital efforts with engagement strategies – such as peer-to-peer or personal challenges, events, ambassadors and incentives – were the most successful.
“By planning early and strategically, interacting with millennial audiences long before #GivingTuesday and thinking broader than just digital tactics, organizations can learn to better understand and harness the power of this booming generation,” said Derrick Feldmann, lead researcher for The Millennial Impact Project and president of Achieve. “And as both this generation and this giving movement continue to grow, organizations can seize the possibilities of #GivingTuesday 2016 and beyond.”
So what does this mean for you?
#GivingTuesday is quickly gaining traction, so now may be the time to think about how your organization can join the cause.
Now is the time to plan for 2016, so start researching your networks and community partners. Engage your millennials. Beef up your social media strategy. Start researching community causes – locally or nationally – that align with your core messages and beliefs.
For ideas, review the case studies in the report – especially the social media tactics. And remember, videos, even short ones, can be powerful tools for creating inspiration and excitement.
Event Garde is a professional development consulting firm that employs a versatile skill set and a wealth of experience to create well-connected leaders. We’re committed to lifelong learning, for ourselves and for our clients, believing in its ability to produce transformational experiences that advance innovation. Sharing our deep knowledge, we’re dedicated to performance improvement for the professionals we serve and those who attend the events we facilitate.