It’s time for the second installment of #whatgiveswednesday. I can’t wait to showcase some of the excellent guest bloggers I’m getting lined up, but for now I’ll continue the conversation. We’ve painted a picture, now I want to talk about the “give to get” concept.
We’re likely to use young constituents and “millennials” interchangeably throughout this year-long adventure. Millennials, also called Generation Y, are primarily people born in the 1980s or 1990s. At this moment in time, these people are who make up our young constituent group.
Millennials – of which I am a part – are often categorized as lazy and entitled. In fundraising, this is reflected in the assumption that millennials give to get. In other words, their philanthropy is motivated by their desire to receive something in return.
What do you think??? Is this true? If it is true, is it a bad thing? Is it the way of the future?
I’ve certainly seen this at work. The popularity of crowdfunding relies somewhat on this concept; in return for being a “backer”, some kind of perk is received. Many organizations implement young donor or young patron groups or circles; in return for a donation, the donor gets a membership into some kind of exclusive club, where they may get additional perks. (I’m hoping one of our guest bloggers will talk about membership more later.)
But perhaps there’s another way to look at it. Perhaps it’s not just about perks or memberships. Maybe young donors are more critical, less willing to respond to your ask at face value. Sure, maybe they’d prefer that something’s in it for them, but maybe they just want assurance that something’s in it. Full stop.
We know from a marketing standpoint that feeding consumers lies just doesn’t work anymore. Back in the day, perhaps, advertisers could say what they wanted and people would believe it. Now we’re bombarded with messages all day long from multiple channels, and we’re becoming savvy enough to not believe anything until someone we trust endorses it.
So maybe it’s not that millennials’ philanthropic intentions are less than pure. Maybe we just need to work harder for them.
What do you think???
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in educational fundraising for the past seven years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.