Millennials give more through circles, tiers and partners

According to Fundraising and the Next Generation author, Emily Davis, nonprofits should be cultivating Millennials and Gen X because of their sheer size and long-term potential for philanthropy.

Wealthy Gen X donors give more and are increasingly more aware of charitable causes than earlier generations when they were the same age. Also worth noting, these two generations are more educated than prior generations, and there is a direct correlation between education and level of philanthropy.

A study at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University reports a college degree increases annual giving by an average of $1,900. Additionally, younger donors tend to be driven more by the cause than by the notion of philanthropy itself.

Circles: Giving circles are a strategy Davis mentions to cultivate the next generation of donors. Giving circles are comprised of people who pool their donations and decide collaboratively how to impact an agreed-upon social cause. By leveraging your volunteer or board development strategies with fundraising know-how, Davis claims you can create giving circles within your own organization.

Tiers: Another strategy Davis mentions in her book is creating donor tiers that are sensitive to each age group’s ability to give. For example, Women Give San Diego uses this strategy for its annual giving campaigns. Members under the age of 40 are asked to give a minimum gift of $250 versus the Founding Members who are asked to give between $1,000 and $10,000 per year.

Partners: Yet another strategy for engaging and cultivating younger donors is partnering with a young professionals group (like or organization that naturally draws a younger demographic.

What are you doing to engage the next generation of philanthropists? Asking the Gen X and Y staff members in your organization is a great place to start.

CausePlanet subscribers: Don’t forget to register for our interview with Davis on Thurs, June 14 at Noon MST.

See also:
Fundraising and the Next Generation
Liquid Leadership

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