Anderson University recently partnered with nonprofit consulting firms, Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle Associates (JGA), to better understand giving habits and engagement preferences of young alumni within the Millennial Generation (ages 20-40). For more information, visit: http://www.millennialdonors.com/.
"We were delighted to be able to participate in this survey and we greatly appreciate the outstanding response rate from our alumni," said Bob Coffman, vice president of advancement at Anderson University. "The feedback we have obtained gives us valuable insight on how our alumni prefer to receive communication and information about opportunities to be engaged with the university."
The "2010 Millennial Donor Study" represents findings from more than 2,200 people between the ages of 20 and 40 across the U.S. about their giving habits and engagement preferences. 75 percent of survey participants represented the Millennial generation or Generation Y. The survey found that when they do get involved with a nonprofit organization, Millennial donors not only want to give financially, they want to affect change and create direction, and they want access to the organization's board leadership.
The results of the survey show a generation definitely connected by technology and social media, but more inspired to give and volunteer by personal engagement and human connections. In addition, the results suggest that nonprofit organizations seeking to connect with this new generation of donors need to redesign their solicitation and engagement processes, treating new givers more like their older peers. Key findings include:
- 91% of Millennial donors are at least somewhat likely to respond to a face-to-face request for money from a nonprofit organization, with 27 percent being highly likely to respond to such a request. Only 8 percent are highly likely to respond to an email request.
- 55.2% of Millennial donors are likely or highly likely to respond to a specific request or particular project. 55.7% are not likely to respond to a general, non-specific ask.
- 71.9% of Millennial donors don’t need to volunteer for an organization before donating.
- Millennial donors want to know details about the organizations they support: 86.3 percent want updates on programs or services, and 54.6 percent want information about the organization and its financial condition. 68 percent want information about volunteer opportunities.
- 60.5% would like access to board and executive leadership, and 53.2% say they have it.
- Asked who could get them to donate to an organization, most Millennial donors say they would be likely or highly likely to give if asked by a family member (74.6%) or a friend (62.8 %). Only 37.8% would be likely or highly likely to give is asked by a coworker.
- 71.7% of Millennial donors said they’d be willing to communicate with friends and family about ways to be involved in an organization they support.
- Email is Millennial donors’ most preferred communication method, with 93% of respondents favoring it for receiving information from organizations. Facebook and print lag behind at 23.8% and 26.9%, respectively.
- When a Millennial donor uses technology to find out about a nonprofit organization, Google is the donor’s first stop, with 86.4% of respondents citing the search engine. 71.5% rely on email, and 51.2% use Facebook to find information on organizations.
As a result of these finding, Anderson University has already begun to implement significant modifications to its engagement and solicitation programs. Key changes include:
- Multiple focus groups conducted in recent months with Alumni staff and with President Edwards, to learn how AU can remain relevant and resourceful to alumni.
- Elevating the visibility of the Alumni Council members as the "voice of the Alumni Association" and exploring ways to connect Alumni with the Council members.
- Alumni service project opportunities in several key area supported by alumni chapters.
- Monthly alumni e-newsletters and targeted blasts regarding upcoming events and announcements.
- Using email and social media/social action to donate to Anderson University.
- Informing alumni about programs/services through Signatures, social media, email, etc.
- Volunteer leadership opportunities available through alumni chapters in key cities.
Anderson University alumni can encourage others to become involved with Anderson University in meaningful ways through the following methods:
- Make a gift to Anderson University that is specified for a particular academic department, program or building project that is personally important.
- "Share" your gift by telling your friends that you give to AU.
- Share news items to your profile that are posted to AU's Facebook fan page.Attend an Anderson University alumni event in your area.
- Volunteer for an Anderson University alumni service opportunity or chapter leadership.
- Network with other alumni in similar professions and find ways to mentor and help current students within your field.
- Recruit a prospective student to attend Anderson University.
Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) has been providing authentic, strategic philanthropic consulting services to non-profit clients since 1994. JGA’s team of senior consultants offers client-focused, highly customized philanthropic consulting services to private colleges, independent schools, and large cultural and community organizations. JGA specializes in capital campaign counsel, feasibility studies, philanthropic assessments, and development audits. www.jgacounsel.com.
Achieve is a consulting firm that provides expert guidance and delivers strategies to strengthen donor relationships and increase fundraising performance. Achieve works with nonprofit organizations that need to build the skills of its fundraising department, acquire resources for new and existing needs, and engage donors in meaningful ways. www.AchieveGuidance.com.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.