A hot topic in alumni relations is determining the most effective ways to build lasting relationships with Millennials (generally defined as the 20-35 year age group). The Millennial Impact Report 2012 provides some very interesting insights about how this segment of the population prefers to engage with nonprofit institutions. Covering giving, social media, volunteerism, and overall preferences for connecting, this comprehensive paper is well worth reading in its entirety.
I was particularly struck by how important a well thought out website presence continues to be as a communications tool, despite the wealth of social media channels used by this age group.
So while it’s important to put serious consideration into your social media strategy, according to this report, it’s equally or even more important to maintain an up to date website “with a unique, purposeful, and concise mission” and “clear calls to action.” I find a lot of institutions are struggling to find this balance, especially in departments where time and resources are stretched.
Another interesting takeaway from the report: Millennials like to have hands-on involvement at an organization, and are more likely to give (and give more) to an institution where they have volunteered and have a strong relationship. Notably, peer involvement is the top source of information for future volunteers.
With this in mind, I think iModules clients are going to be very excited to see the new Volunteer Fundraising tools coming in October. This powerful set of tools allows you to give volunteer fundraisers varying degrees of involvement, and it lets volunteers involve their peers in their passion for your institution. It also provides your fundraising staff efficient management tools for harnessing the enthusiasm of your volunteers. You can read more details about Volunteer Fundraising in this recently published white paper.
I was also interested to read the insights about e-mail marketing to this group. Page 8 of the report provides a summary which begins with “Email, Yes it Still Matters.” Forty-seven percent of respondents say they prefer to receive updates about organizations through e-newsletters. E-mail matters and can be a very effective engagement tool, but the content and delivery is worthy of some careful planning.
Despite being 35 pages long, the report is a surprisingly quick read and packed with useful food for thought. The perfect cure for a lazy Friday. Check it out and let me know what you think.