You have to have a different approach to fundraising with Millennials. They‘re willing to go to an event a month. Older volunteers may want to do one big event a year. Young professionals usually prefer to do a higher volume of more intimate events. You’ve got to allow them to be creative. Millennials may want to do some events you’ve never done in your organization before. You may not think an event will work, but if they think it’ll work, you’ve got to give them the leeway to do it, even if it might fail.
For a young professional group to thrive there must be structure, but not something with the overbearing rules that your traditional structure may have. You’ll still want to have a hierarchy with officers. That’s one thing that will actually attract some of your leaders. They're building their resume. They’re still looking for leadership opportunities. From your point of view, you need a structure for who’s going to run your meetings. You have to start your group with an existing board member or volunteer. But what you don’t want to do is have that older volunteer running the group. You want them to get it started and then back away and be there for advice when needed.
If your organization has been trying to get Millennials involved through conventional methods, well—there’s the problem. While young professionals want to help your organization, they typically don’t want to be part of the traditional structure. Whether you call this your Young Professionals Group or come up with a more creative name (better yet, let them think it up) it's important that they have an organizational structure they can call their own. You need to make them feel empowered. We’re tempted to micromanage them, but don't. That’s the quickest way to destroy your group.
If you don’t have a young professionals group at your organization or you've had one that failed in the past, it’s important that you get one going. Today’s Millennial generation are a wealth of resources that your organization needs to be tapped into. Differing from almost every other generation, Millennials have a strong desire to find meaning in their lives and do not always seek it in their employment. For your organization that translates into commitment, time and money that they can devote to your cause.
Each year DonorDrive awards a scholarship that sends a staffer from a deserving nonprofit to the Peer to peer Professional Forum conference. Our scholarship for the 2015 conference goes to Brecka Putnam of CureSearch for Children's Cancer. In an interview that DonorDrive conducted along with Peter Panepento of Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum's Peer Review Blog, Brecka was excited to get the news: "I am so looking forward to attending." Brecka manages the CureSearch Ultimate Hike program, a single-day, 20-30 mile hike that raises funds and awareness for children's cancer: "We have four Ultimate Hikes a year and our participants raise an average of $3100 each."
As we head into 2015 we'd like to make sure you have the best information possible for planning your organization's future fundraising. Over the last year we've written some very popular and useful content. We thought we'd recap what's most relevant to your fundraising in 2015.
We want our runs and walks to go flawlessly so that our participants have a great experience. But it's often the little things that go wrong that a participant will never forget. Like: "I can't believe that I walked 10 miles and then had to stand in line 30 minutes to use the porta-potty."
That kind of thing is completely avoidable. A great event experience for your participants all comes down to good planning. And good planning comes down to a little simple math. Here are the formulas that have worked for me for years.
Has your email success been slipping? If donors and participants are just not opening and responding like they used to, it may not be a problem of donor retention, but one of skimping on email best practices. It's a good idea to go back every so often and remind yourself of the email basics that are proven to better engage your supporters and get more donations. Here are the seven most important things you can do to boost nonprofit email effectiveness.
Recently DonorDrive co-presented a Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum webinar on motivating participants with Andrew Valainis, Operations and Rider Manager of Climate Ride. This organization has exceptional success at turning their participants (40% have never fundraiser before) into super fundraisers. Climate Ride's five-day rides have a fundraising minimum of $2,800, yet riders on average raised almost $1,000 more. Here are some of Andrew's tips from the webinar on motivating event participants to raise more through their peer-to-peer fundraising efforts:
Recently we did some research and discovered that making your event team-centric is a great way to boost peer-to-peer donations and improve lagging participation. We compared team captains and team members in team-centric events to individuals in highly-successful events that rely mostly on individual fundraisers. Here's what we found: