I’m 25, and last night, I probably reached the pinnacle of my earthly existence.

I made a purchase that completely changed my life. It was a transaction for the ages.  Absolute perfection. You’re going to be jealous.

Ok, I’ll tell you.

Last night, the finest, rarest coffee beans in the world, known as Jamaican Blue, found their way into my cup.  And it was truly remarkable.

A cup of coffee?  Really?  I mean.. it’s just a cup of coffee, right?  No. This coffee was robust.  It was bold. It was like nothing I’d ever tried before. And it wasn’t just me.  I looked around at the coffee shop, and everyone else was blown away too.  Suddenly, we were all a part of this incredible, mind-blowing experience. Instagram.  Twitter.  Facebook.  Pinterest.  All channels blown up.  I wanted people to know what I was going through – to be a part of what I was a part of.  I had to share what was happening with my circle of influence in hopes that maybe – just maybe – one person would see this masterpiece and buy this cup of coffee too, only to have his or her life impacted forever.

If I felt this way about a cup of coffee, how much more enthusiasm could your cause inspire?  Imagine what could happen if your organization bridged the gap with my generation..

The Millennials.

Sure, we don’t have the expendable income of you’re the boomers or matures.  But we do have some money.  And we tend to spend it in more concentrated doses instead of spreading it across multiple nonprofits.  One of these nonprofits could be yours. Don’t write us off.

So how do you reach us?

Engage us.  How do you engage us?  Give us pictures.  Yes, pictures.  I know that, in a recent post, I discussed Charity:Water’s work with Instagram advertising; but, truly, what they are doing visually is absolutely breathtaking.  Their photographs do not simply inform their viewers.  These pictures tell a story.  A story that drives action.  A story that invokes change.

But, don’t stop there.

My generation wants to know that our precious donations are acting as change agents.  How are you showing us that what we’re doing is working?  Again, take Charity:Water for example.  Every time Charity:Water builds a well, they plot it on a map and tell how many beneficiaries made that well a possibility.  Pretty cool.

Consider this…

Charity:Water has launched a campaign known as The Birthday Project, where the nonprofit asks its constituents to donate one of their birthdays and have all of their friends donate to building wells instead of giving the constituents birthday presents. Giving meaning to your existence through the generosity of others is an incredible way to celebrate.

But, tell me, how much more enticing would the program be if, after donating a birthday, that constituent eventually got a video of a bunch of Kenyan kids singing “Happy Birthday” to the constituent?  Kids who once went to sleep at night thirsty, but thirst no more because of that person.  That one person.  My generation would feel like a part of the change.

Give us something to share.

To share with our family.  To share with our friends.  Our coworkers.  My generation may not be the most affluent generation (yet), but we are, no doubt, the most connected.  If we feel like we are changing the world through your nonprofit organization, we want people to know that.  Then our friends will want to be a part of that change too.  And your circle of influence just got bigger.

The fact remains, in order for your nonprofit to reach my generation, your communication efforts need to be bold and robust.  Just like a remarkable cup of coffee.  Serve my generation well, nonprofits, and we will share your impact with the world.

The Next Generation of American Giving

For more insight on how to connect with your donors, watch this 4 minute video and download The Next Generation of American Giving . It’s packed with information that will help you understand how each generation thinks about giving to the nonprofits they love.


 

photo credit – Flickr:Creative Commons

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