6 Technology Tips for Community Foundations to Engage Millennial Donors | npENGAGE

6 Technology Tips for Community Foundations to Engage Millennial Donors

By on May 9, 2017


Millennial Girl Using a Smart Phone in a Big City

Advancements in technology are accelerating the rate at which our world is changing, transforming the way people connect, learn, and engage with each other. In philanthropy, we have seen the shift from checkbook philanthropy to results-driven philanthropy. More and more donors want to give to the causes they care about most through the click of a button and while on the go, instead of physically writing and mailing checks or donating only to “feel good.” They want to have ready online access to their impact —whether on their computer, mobile device, or tablet, and they certainly aren’t going to wait for a printed report.

This is especially true of the next generation of donors: Millennials.

This is the first generation to grow up with mobile-first technology and intuitive user experiences, and because of this they expect to always be connected. The philanthropic sector needs to get up to speed and meet the next generation of donors where they are everyday: on their phones and tablets.

In order to keep up with the next generation of tech-savvy donors and engage with them on shared causes, community foundations must consider how technology can be harnessed to meet Millennials on their terms.

Here are 6 technology recommendations for community foundations to consider:

  • Embrace easy-to-use technology that provides an intuitive and engaging user experience. Think from your donor’s perspective and don’t make giving a hassle.
  • Engage donors in their own environment and heighten their connectivity with technology that is optimized for mobile devices and tablets. Donors will want to give wherever and whenever they have access to Wi-Fi.
  • Provide a secure gateway to online giving. Don’t put your donors at risk; ensure they have a safe and secure way to give.
  • Seamlessly capture donor details. Limit the number of clicks a donor has to make to provide you with their contact information. You will need these details for future outreach.
  • Ensure that you have the right solution in place to manage your donor’s funds and process gifts efficiently.
  • Create a shared story with your donors by showing them the impact of their giving with data on the results of the programs they are funding in the community. Make these stories come to life with pictures and engaging content about the programs – be sure your technology solution offers this must-have capability. Sharing these impact stories will also generate social credibility for you and your donors in the local community.

As the philanthropic sector continues to evolve online with more engagement from the Millennial generation, community foundations need to adopt technology that makes online giving easy and efficient. It’s not enough anymore to just focus on traditional donors, now is the time to think about how to tap into the next generation of donors. That means embracing technology to provide an intuitive online experience for all users that will in the end increase engagement with donors and accelerate your collective impact.


Collin Gravalin serves as a Senior Product Manager at Blackbaud, leading the technology strategy for community foundations and donor advised funds. As part of his role, Collin is working toward a single complete technology solution for these customers, and led the development of the new DonorCentral, the industry-leading solution that facilitates connections and collaboration between donors and the nonprofits they care about. Connect with Collin on Twitter:@collingravalin.

When not working, Collin can be found doting on his new baby daughter or trying to catch up on some much needed sleep!

Comments (1)

  • ADAM PENDER says:

    enter the Givesome Mobile App, available through givesome.com or download via iOS & Android stores.

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