Insights
2 min Read
December 5, 2016

The elusive millennials: are they worth chasing?

Ah, millennials—they’re the constantly SnapChatting young people with attention spans that shorten every day. (I’m allowed to say this because I’m one of them!) As millennials make up more and more of the workforce and their buying power increases, organizations are obsessing about how to get them to care about their cause—and ultimately how to get them to give.

This obsession has led to tons of research about the generation, and after doing a little digging, I noticed that the research doesn’t always match up. For instance, MobileCause said millennials give to causes, rather than specific organizations or brands, but Inc. 500 found millennials to be extremely brand loyal compared to other generations.

So what’s the deal? Do millennials care about a specific organization or not? And how does that affect their likelihood to give? Big Duck’s new market research tool, the Brandraising Benchmark, also digs into questions like these, and our June survey returned some interesting results about young people:

  1. 18-34 year olds had some of the highest levels of awareness of participating organizations. This means they were more likely than other, older age groups to claim that they’d heard of a participating organization. This was true for nonprofits large and small, and across a variety of sectors.
  2. When asked about the importance of participating organizations’ mission statements, 18-34 year olds were more likely than any other age group to say the mission was very or extremely important. Again, true for nonprofits of all sizes and a variety of sectors.
  3. When asked about their likelihood to donate in the future, 18-34 year olds were more likely than all other age groups to say they probably or definitely would donate. Again, true for organizations large and small, and across sectors.

So perhaps all the obsession over millennials is warranted: they’re aware of what’s going on in the nonprofit sector and excited about donating. What’s more, they seem to be aware of specific organizations (not just the issues behind them), so they may pay more attention to your brand than you might expect.

My biggest takeaway about all of this is that developing a brand that inspires connection is more important than ever. Think Nike or Old Spice, and think fast because this age group has a lot of organizations vying for their attention.

If you want to know what millennials (and other demographics) think of your organization specifically, sign up for our Brandraising Benchmark.

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