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Engaging Young Donors

In a recent article in NonProfit Quarterly, nonprofits are encouraged to rethink the ways that they engage with young donors.

These so-called “next gen donors” are not interested in simply dropping a check in the mail. They want to be seen as part of the team. These contributors are willing to give their time and skills and, in turn, expect to be seen as more than a money source.

Few nonprofits have created the systems to provide for this level of engagement. It is clear, however, that it will be time and effort well spent, as these major contributors look for places to put down their roots. These relationships, if well nurtured, could last decades.

The authors of “It’s All About the Relationship: How Nonprofits Can Better Engage Next Gen Donors” discuss one donor who stated that she was looking for “groups that took her ideas for innovation seriously” and avoided those that “just put her on the Board or sequestered her on a fundraising committee.”

What will it take for nonprofits to adapt to this model of engagement?

  • Be open to change. Donors want to feel that their suggestions will be considered.
  • Keep communication open. Donors are frustrated when no response is given to their suggestions or offers of help.
  • Build relationships. These next gen donors want to know what is happening on the inside and help in creating solutions.
  • Give real information. Sometimes, sharing challenges can provide opportunities for these young contributors to engage in the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

To read more about engaging the next generation of donors, visit NonProfit Quarterly.

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