Effective Communication over the Next 25 Years

News | January 14, 2016

by John Doyle, Partner, Doyle McDonald

As we look toward the next 25 years, the most challenging aspect of effective communication will not be mastering online technology. It will be understanding how your audience thinks.

The 80 million Millennials who are on the cusp of taking over our world think very differently about charitable giving. Here are six things you need to understand about the philanthropic mindset of Millennials to help you connect with this very generous generation.

Millennials are givers—According to the Millennial Impact Report 2015, 84% of them made a charitable donation in 2014.

But they don’t feel obliged to give—According to Meg Fowler Tripp of the branding firm Sametz Blackstone Associates, “Millennials like to think of themselves as not just donors, but investors. They don’t give out of obligation. They give out of a sense of mission.”

Your language should reflect their values—Futurist Amy Webb says rather than ask for donations, you need to ask for an investment. “It may seem something simple. It’s just semantics: donation vs. investment. But I think to a millennial … they want to feel like they’re making an investment.”

 It’s more than just money. Millennials are investing their own brand—According to Mike Grace, the Boston Museum of Science’s director of development, “You want them to feel engaged. Millennials like that feeling of giving back beyond that check.”

They want their friends to know about it—Millennials’ desire to boast about doing good (or “charity narcissism”) is being credited for increased giving among this generation. As the BBC reported, “Good behavior is enabled and augmented when it is visible to our peers.”

And remember, Millennials don’t mail; they click. According to Blackbaud, 62% of Millennials made charitable contributions through mobile platforms. Make sure they can support your cause online and on the go.

 We are entering a brave new philanthropic world. But once you master the culture, you’ll find that it is quite a generous one.




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