Nonprofits Market to Millennials, Part 3


In earlier posts, Nonprofits Market to Millennials Part 1 & 2, we discussed how your nonprofit can both create programs that engage the millennial generation and then how you can promote these programs on the appropriate social media platforms that reach them. But how do you craft your nonprofit’s overall message so that it resonates with the millennial generation in the first place?

3. How to effectively summarize what your nonprofit does in a way that inspires millennials:

From the Millennial Impact Report, it is clear that millennials want to get involved with issues rather than organizations. How do you do this?

  • Emphasize the cause for which your nonprofit is fighting, and what this fight looks like. If they can see that your nonprofit feels less like an institution and is more so concerned with the issue itself, they will feel like they are more directly involved.
    • Take the successful nonprofit Human Rights Watch, for example. On their giving page, they don’t say “donate to Human Rights Watch,” but rather “Help Defend: YOU can help defend essential human rights of people worldwide for years to come.”HRW-donate-now-page
  • Provide news updates right on your homepage. If they can learn about the issue from many different third-party news sources, they are more likely to see that your nonprofit is not as caught up in its own work, but rather is focused on the world and the need for action NOW.
    • The home page of Human Rights Watch does not talk about what they do, but instead shows the days top stories and links out to many other updates.HWR-homepage-news-updates
  • Tell stories. If you’re talking about the people your nonprofit is helping rather than your nonprofit’s story, they will likely see the cause more clearly.
    • Nonprofit Invisible Children tells the story of victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army for half of their homepage before they discuss how their nonprofit works. The viewer is more likely to be fully engaged with the issue before they see how they can help.successful-nonprofit-homepage-invisible-children


  • Show your results. Besides the emotional side of your story, millennials have been programed to look at the numbers when they come online. They scroll through sites to see what stands out and often times, this is the proof in numbers.
    • Ronald McDonald House points viewers directly to the stats under their “What We Do” section. By seeing these numbers, it’s easy to tell that they’re doing real work and affecting real people.


By reading these three posts, we hope it is clear that overall, this generation is not one to overlook as they can have a profound impact financially, as volunteers, and as evangelists. Additionally, there is a lot you can do to target them and make them feel needed.