Is Your Non-Profit Paying Enough Attention to Generation Z?

A new generation is spearheading social movements, volunteering for causes and making charitable donations. If your organization isn’t paying attention to Generation Z — the youngest cohort of adults — you may miss out on its energy and support. This demographic is particularly motivated by social justice issues and is financially generous. Here’s how to engage these individuals.

Pursuing social impact

The oldest members of Generation Z typically are in college or the early stages of careers. Nevertheless, according to a LendingTree survey their average annual donation is $553 per year — compared with $574 for all donors. They’re the most likely age group to participate in crowdfunding drives and the online fundraiser Giving Tuesday. They may be more driven to pursue social impact than earlier generations at their age and tend to be hyperaware of what’s going on both in the world and their own communities.

As digital natives immersed in social media, Gen Zers make good peer-to-peer fundraisers. You might be able to harness the energy of this generation by sponsoring fun runs and similar events that require participants to solicit funds from friends and family members. Also, many in this demographic volunteer or perform paid work for more politically oriented causes that they see affecting their own lives, such as gun control, climate change and racial inequality.

Reaching young adults

To reach Gen Z, forget Facebook and even Twitter. Teens and young adults favor platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, so you may need to develop different types of content for these more visual channels. The good news is that younger people tend to be more receptive to digital ads than their parents. But they expect outreach to be narrowly tailored to their interests, so be sure you rely on good data.

Members of Gen Z usually want to be more involved in charitable causes than earlier generations. They may not be satisfied with making one-time donations to nonprofits they barely know. To provide young adults with hands-on roles, create formal volunteer programs and consider setting up a junior board of directors.

Enlist their support

As donors, Gen Zers have substantially increased their charitable giving just in the past couple of years. If you enlist this demographic’s support for your cause (usually via digital channels), they can become an invaluable — and long-lived — part of your nonprofit’s support network.

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