Nonprofit Fundraising: Attract Millennial Donors Using Social Media | Corinne Cavanaugh | Skillshare

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Nonprofit Fundraising: Attract Millennial Donors Using Social Media

teacher avatar Corinne Cavanaugh, Digital Marketing Expert & Professor

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Lessons in This Class

1 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Attract Millennial Donors #nonprofit

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About This Class

In this highly practical lesson, you will learn how to attract Millennial donors through the strategic use of media marketing. 

Learning Outcomes - In less than 30 minutes you will:

  • Receive a sample strategy to replicate
  • Learn 4 types of content that attract Millennials
  • Learn common pitfalls to avoid when trying to attract Millennial donors


Corinne has been a leader in marketing for 14 years. She is the founder of a social media firm, a digital marketing agency, is a professor at Bellevue College and an Adult Learning Certified Instructor.

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Corinne Cavanaugh

Digital Marketing Expert & Professor


Corinne has been a leader in marketing for 14 years. She has now honed her marketing and communications expertise to help other leaders learn practical tools, strategies, and techniques to move the needle on their marketing and communications goals.  Corinne previously founded and led a social media marketing firm for 5 years providing consulting and community management services for private and public sector organizations. She then became a FKA Certified Instructor for a Fortune 100 company teaching the staff and leadership of organizations across the United States (in both virtual and live settings) to do website design, search engine optimization, and social media marketing to grow their organizations. Currently she is the President and Founder of Donor Swell, a nonprofit market... See full profile

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1. Attract Millennial Donors #nonprofit: All right, let's get started. Thank you so much for joining me today. My name's Karen Kavanagh. And this afternoon I'm gonna be talking to you about attracting millennial donors, specifically using social media. I'll not only talk about what why this group of people should be a priority for most nonprofits or seven civic organizations, but also I'll give you some specific examples of content that works and a sample strategy. So let's just dive right in. First, let me introduce myself properly. I suppose I've been to the weapon ours and training since 2009. And, ah, it's been fun. Ride the in person training, especially. This is a nice photo you see of that on the right hand side. Ah, group of people who we had a huge role in conversation about selfies. And so we took a group selfie at the end of the course. That was a fun time. Anyway, I've got 11 years of digital marketing experience, done some presentations live and women ours and trade about 1600 organizations. It's pretty. It's pretty fun the training portion of my position, but I also provide consulting. Anyhow, I wanted to die right in today to our content because we have gotten action packed half hour. First, let's look, look at exactly who millennials are. It's fascinating to look at them in comparison to other generations. It starts to shape who they are, so that later marketing and communication efforts can be a little bit more relevant. So we've got the G I generation who were born in the early 19 hundreds, experienced with World War Two, and they had toe the start of the Great Depression that was a part of their life. Then we've got the mature group who wanted peace. They wanted, you know, like peace man peace. You know, it was just that time. That was sort of their mindset, and they experienced the Vietnam War. Next, we've got the baby literate generation. Maybe there's a few on the line anyhow. Rock and roll and the beginning of credit cards were there. Then you've got Gen X. This generation had a lot of latchkey kids saying At home all parents worked and they remember the very first computers Emma Stauce, pinball games, etcetera. Then you've got the generation we're talking about today, Gen y also called the millennium or the millennials. There's been a lot of articles written about this group because their behavior as individuals, consumers and donors is very different from previous generations. This group was born between 1981 and 2000 and they remember 9 11 as the first security breach, the first instability of America. They also grew up in a digital environment, with computers all around and in school. So this group has fully embraced the computer relapse digital communication, similar to how previous generations embraced the telephone when it arrived or email when it arrived. This generation loves using the computer and digital tools to be highly effective, and I have connected to other human beings. They make lightning speed purchasing decisions based on on Lee immediately available information on the Web. Then we've got the Lost Generation, which is up and coming. Gen z they were born after 2000. Wine and different industries are just beginning now to study them, but basically they're toddlers that naturally know how toe work your cell phone. I joke and say they know how to work a cell phone better than I do. So why the focus on all millennials for donors? Well, many traditional donors are being aged out there, beginning to age out. But then what's next in the pipeline to support the generation and organization? It's this next generation we're talking about the millennials. They are now the largest employed workforce in the U. S. A. Surpassing baby boomers in early 2014. The natural next question is, Will they give yes, very good news. In fact, in 2014 63% of millennials gave to charities, 43% actively volunteered or a member of a community organization and 52% sign petitions. All data together gathered to use me confirms the fact that millennials have a desire to give back to society, and they even choose their employers based on their charitable giving. But what I see is a huge disconnect. Millennials want to give both time and money, and they want to know exactly the impact of their dollars, like how many lives will be saved, then they want to be involved in the charities that give to They don't want to just write a check. Why, well, more than any other group, millennials realize the power of the Web and the power of their online connections. In fact, they get 74% of their news from online sources. They have an average of 300 friends and connections online to advocate to and check social media between 20 and 21 hours each month. Millennials believe new technology makes their lives easier and helps and be closer to their friends and family. And they want to use technology in concert with everything they do, including giving to organizations. I've taken a close look at this group, and this is the donation path that a millennial would ideally take. They will learn about the organization, maybe a blogger. The thought was great, then share with their friends and family online. Then they might lean in on volunteer with that organization. Ideally, this is a hands on activity. Then they would share that with their friends and family online. Then, when the donation ask comes, they're fully primed to donate. Immediately after they donate, they share that they donated with their friends and family online and the final step, which is so often missed if the organization embraces them and asks them to lead an initiative, maybe make them a part of an ambassador group, they will actually begin soliciting donations online for that work. Now they have the big picture. What specifically talk about using social media as a tool to attract this group? The reports on what percentage of millennials use wet platform very about 10% in this varies from the Nielsen to Deloitte to the American Press Institute. The American Press Institute is the graph you see, and I think it kind of gives you the overall trend. It's clear that social media platforms, the social media platform of choice, is always Facebook. And then it's YouTube, which people use occasionally and then Instagram, then Twitter and others. These are the social networks to really focus on to attract the millennial donor. Facebook, a social networking site. YouTube, which is a video hosting site, and Instagram ah, photo base to social networking site. Now you might be thinking, Wait, aren't Bill moving away from Facebook? Didn't I see an article about that? Well, the numbers confirm Facebook is still the biggest and most used. In fact, Facebook just recently published monthly active users, and they are up significantly. And as social media platforms are a great way to share the positive impactful work that your organization does. And Facebook has made it even easier for non profits or NGOs recently by giving a donate call to Action button right on Facebook on the page where people can donate without even leaving the site. There are many features that nonprofits have acted access to on YouTube. Some of them are donate buttons on videos and other profile, or call to action overlays on videos. A live streaming option. One organization that I've seen maximizing YouTube is the Nature Conservancy shown here. They have a professional looking YouTube profile and create videos on topics people might search. What people might search is an important thing to keep in mind when creating your YouTube videos without going too deep in the search engine optimization. I will say that Google owns YouTube, so you want your title to match what people search so that your video comes up in search engine results. Here's a nice example for Instagram charity Water posts photos of the people that your money is impacting, so you get an idea of who they are and the good your donation will do. To attract millennials via social media, you have to focus on quality that they can consume quality content that they could consume and share with others. So contact content marketing includes things like info, graphics or video stories, blog's photos that go along with a sentence like the Instagram post. We just saw this type of content has information that people want to seek rather than avoid . Social media is not a destructive type of media like TV, like a TV commercial break or even radio ads. Instead, it's helpful and informative, and it can even make you smile. So what content works? Content that's positive and easy to comment on. So let me take a moment to explain social media and the algorithms that play on the back end. Essentially, it's a popularity contest, and how it works is the more engagement you receive on your posts. The more that these social media platforms realize your post is great, and they want to show it to more and more people so higher. Engagement begets hard hair engagement, and that's what you really want to focus on. Um, because of that, you want to make sure that your posts are positive in nature because if they're negative, people might actually not hit the like button or not share with their friends were not leave a comment. So you wanted to be positive so that they're doing all of those actions. And those actions will indicate to the algorithm of the Social media platform that this is popular content and they will start showing it to even more people. Let me give you an example. Uh, here's a post you could write says malaria kills a child every 45 seconds. That's too many. Please donate now, and you might have a picture of a sick child. If you're to see this on social media, you might want to hit the dislike button. You know it. You wouldn't necessarily hit the like button. Because it's such a grim scenario. However, it can change surround to put a positive spin on it. We're proud to work every day to save Children dying from malaria. Just $10 will save a life. You can help please donate now and then somebody might actually click a like button or share this with their friends, and that's what you want to have happened. So it's important even if you've got ah, hard hitting subject about health were sustainability or even education. You want to make sure that it's spun into a positive notion. Your post should also be easy to comment on. Let me give you two examples. First, today's World Kindness Day. Have you seen any random acts of kindness? This is an interesting thing to do. To add a question to a social media post, many believe just adding a question will increase the number of common to get on that post . That's actually not the case. You have to have the right kind of question, a question that's easy to comment on. Well, we look at the question here. Think about what we'd have to do to answer it. We have to go. Okay, So I woke up and I did this and then I did that and I needed that. I don't think I saw any random acts of kindness. I'm not sure you literally have to walk through your date and give it some brainpower. That actually reduces the chances that people are going to comment on the post. However, if you adapt your post to be easy to comment on by using a yes or no structure or giving people simple options to answer. They have to use the brain a little bit less, and that means your post will get more comments. So here's an example of how we can adapt this today's World Kindness Day. Do you think more random acts of kindness happen in the morning or the evening, and you could get a lot of comments on that post? Some people might say they the most happened at lunchtime, and that's okay because your goal is to receive comments. All right, now that we've got some basic parameters, let's talk about what content works Generally, four types of content work when trying to attract millennial donors. Number one engaging content. This could be through a photo or a short video, something that really captures and holds attention or share a bowl content. The cyber content is plant and could be something that a non profit could post on their own social media channel. But more likely, it's terrible content is the content that the nonprofit would give the donor to share ah specific area focused, so that means not broadly about the organization stepped out one of the pillars or part of your mission statement sort of, um, sort of break that down and talk about one specific area. Focus rather than the whole, and tips giving someone a value add something that will actually improve that person's life or knowledge base. So let me show you examples of all of these one by one so engaging. It's no secret that millennials have an incredibly short attention span. So if you want your content to grab them, do with bright colors in short, distinct messages. If you're using videos, you want to change seen quickly and change people and topics often and shoes for videos under five minutes long. This is a screen capture of an example for up campaign aided for polio advocacy. Polio eradication targeting appropriations funding for fiscal years 15 16 We did secure 228 million and then h funding, which was really great. But you know, polio sort of old news for people, especially people who live in the US and so the challenge of this was to convey a sense of importance on an urgency to those who didn't grow up around polio while getting keen constituents to on record and recorded for supporting these allocations and I'll send the link afterwards in the recorded or of this video. I sent the link with it. Well, what's interesting is how it flashes between people's faces. You've gotta close in camera angle and then a far out camera angle of someone else, so it really captures your eye and captures your attention. It's quick paced, even though it's maybe a dull subject you can really spice up with the, um, editing. Okay, One of the most, if not the most important piece of successful social media campaign is content, lots and lots of content. So you want to create this content both before and as a part of the materials to market, then campaign. Also, you want to create content for, after which we'll talk about more in a minute. So here's a campaign I thought did a great job of creating share a bowl content. The Ban Bossy campaign was led by Facebook's exact Cheryl Sandberg and focus on encouraging leader shipping girls. It was campaign in partnership with the Girl Scouts, and when visiting the Ban bossy website, you noticed there's a video. There's, ah, pledge badge you can share on social media there even pdf guides for teachers to share its school and much, much more, before they even launched this campaign. They took their time on creating a lot of share, a ble content for social media and more, and it helped their message go far and wide When thinking about your war campaigns. Be sure to plan in time to create shareable content before you start and have a distribution plan. Melanie has consumed more media than any other demographic, primarily online and on their mobile device. They also give impulsively directly after learning about a specific cause. So it's critical that your social media content have just one message. For instance, World Vision has a very wide mission to help Children, um, Children's families and their communities worldwide by tackling causes of poverty and injustice. Yeah, that's a large mission. If someone said, Here's our mission. Want to do me to a millennial and exact sense I just gave you? They would probably say No. But if someone said you can sponsor one child or you can give a goat that's much more approachable, much more concrete, you find that you are making a difference. If you sponsor a child or give a goat, so their specific areas of focus. Even though this organization has a fairly wide mission statement, you want to make sure that when you're posting on social media, that's what you focus on the last type of content that works for tips. So remember people are on social media in their free time. Generally, it's a leisure activity for most folks. So any time you can give them helpful information that will positively impact their life, it's a good thing, something that saves them time. Maybe a quick fact they didn't know for an article they might actually like to read. Ah, few years ago, a client of mine was the city of Seattle, and they were trying to get residents in low income areas to rest her for their home for environmental sustainability. The city created this plan, the climate action plan, and they wanted to get public feedback on the plan but also encourage residents to start saving energy. So in this campaign, in every post was read the plan and comment on it. No one would be listening because, let's face it, government planning documents are a little boring. Instead, the social media content you would want to create for camping like this is focused on tips or value adds that were mission alive and this Twitter post it shares an energy saving tip . Mary or faucets. This reduces reduces the flow by 50% and it will seem stronger. For example, all right, nothing. You have an idea of what content works. Let me show you a sample social media strategy to attract the millennial donor. This is a three phase strategy that's pretty simple, and it can be adapted to help a lot of different types of organizations so face one would be attract. Phase two is solicit donation, and face three is empower Donor. Let me just go through. Ah, a couple of examples of each of these faces. You can attract donors through online content marketing, so making videos, publishing them on YouTube blogger write ups. You can even use user generated content to market to your audience. The most famous version of user generated content was the A. L s Ice Bucket challenge. The whole campaign was user generated content. People made their own video dumping ice on their heads, and then they created post to share with friends. Another example of user generated content would be when supporting gay marriage legislation . People changed their profile photo to have a rainbow color. In my opinion, one of the most powerful tools you have this Facebook ads simply because you can get so specific and so targeted to find your donor. Here's a mock ad targeting for Facebook. I chose Millennials Ages who live in to town speak English. They like camping, and they like to give to causes they specifically like to give to, um, some of these cancer causes or environmental wildlife or health you can even choose are also called cultural world relief. And for an example here, I said that they have to be employed at Amazon or Microsoft. Wow, this is pretty specific, but it's a really example. If you wanted to, you could go into Facebook and send adds to just this set of people today, or narrow it down even further by other parameters, like getting married or if you're a homeowner or not, or you could even narrow it down by making a model of the car that they owned by make and model of the car that they'll. So it's pretty specific And that's one thing that's really remarkable about Facebook's ad platform is that you can target down that closely. Another way to attract is by leveraging your partners and staff. The goal here is to get outside of the group of people who already are your fans, the people who already give and then get to new donors. Here's an example of what you could dio identify internal partners or marketing avenues, then identify external partners and marketing avenues. Create them a package or a tool kit of social media posts and content to share with their audience. This helps you really control the messaging and eso that that's what you would do. So here's an example. Czar diagrammed out This is an example for the polio video campaign. I identified internal channels. Ah, and then we identified all the partners we had in the video and aligned organizations that would naturally want to share our video with their audience. So the whole idea here is you give thes partners or identified people the content give them specific direction on what to do, and then your messaging will go much farther than your own current audience. Phase two is solicit donations. For this, you have to have your ducks in a row. Be ready to accept donations on social media. For example, accept donations through a short, mobile friendly Web form or APP. Build your donor list, capture the email and phone a phone number of these people who are donating so later you can ask again. Then later you can consider a re marketing campaign. Re marketing campaigns are, um, a somewhat technical marketing digital marketing strategy where you put a pixel on your website. So let's say if somebody visits your website specific page like a donation page warm for a specific campaign, what is used to give a goat example. So they visited that page and then they decided not to donate, and they left that page. You can actually do re marketing to them. The pixel will identify the person who visited your page, and then you can actually re market to them. The next time that they log into Facebook, you can place your advertisement specifically in front of that person. This is all without having to know their credentials. It works off of I P addresses, and like I said, it's a little bit technical, but it's a great thing to Dio. Phase three is Empower Dhoni donors, and as I've mentioned before, this is the biggest missed opportunity after they donate. Empower the donor to do something to post something on their Facebook, to share a video with their friends. Or to tweet this basically provide these people content to spread the word. Here are some examples Excuse me. So here we've got an example from the Band Posse campaign immediately after donating. It gives me an opportunity to go ahead and empower um, as an empower donor to go ahead and share this out. That's what you want to dio. You can also empower the millennial donor, put by providing hands on volunteer opportunities and contacting them frequently. Remember, they're not check writers. They want to get more involved, so let them. After they donate. You can invite them to join your next month, join you next month for a physical event. You could encourage them to invite a friend to an upcoming information session, and you can invite them to become an online advocate. Once you're working your strategy, you have to track it. This requires setting up your website to track page views unique visitors and breaking out specific marketing campaigns in your website analytics. You also want to look at conversion rate, meaning all those people who participated in your campaign. If they clicked an ad or visited a specific campaign page of the website, how many of them actually donate it? You also want to look at re engagement rate of your new millennial donors? How many of them reengaged after giving now, I just want to quickly call out some pitfalls you might want to avoid. There are a couple I alluded to earlier. Basically, this is not a halfway initiative. Uh, if you want to start to see this work, it could be quite a bit of work up front to do it effectively. So you might wanna consider hiring a season marketing professional to complement your efforts of your communication team or put together specific task force just for a campaign like this. Next, don't have donating money as the only option. Give people a chance to volunteer their skills or time while learning about the organization to next. On average, people will fill out four fields on a form on a website, maybe up to 27 fields. The data shows for something like Amazon, with payment processing where they know it will actually remember you. But for general contact forms, four fields is the longest of people will fill out. So shortened your forms if you can. Also, you don't wanna have non specific website landing pages. Let's say you do a campaign and you do some Facebook gets well when they click on that ad. If they land on your home page, it's just not very, very specific. It could be informative, generally informative about your organization, but you instead. One have specific pages where they will land, so that you can give them information about the exact campaign where they can make a difference. Also, these days, more people access the Internet, be their mobile device on desktop computer. So it's critical that your Web presence and donation forms are all mobile friendly, and if you need more help, I'm always here for your organization, so custom to client consulting his what I do and this depends. It really changes on each orc. But this could be marketing automation are helping you become mobile friendly or ah, adjusting your website for conversion, putting into measurement tools, doing some search engine optimization or my favorite, which are advocacy or donor marketing campaigns.