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5 Ways to Connect with Gen Z Donors

Kristin Hammett

Kristin Hammett

April 24, 2024

What do cosmetics, coffee, art kits, meal ingredients, books, and razors all have in common? They are all subscription services popular with Gen Z. Not only that—they also have something to teach us about how to expand fundraising efforts to reach Gen Z donors.

Who is Gen Z?

Individuals born between 1997 and 2012. Today, think of teenagers through mid to late 20 somethings.

With an incredible 69.5 million people, Gen Z makes up 20 percent of the population. By 2030, they are expected to make up one-third of the American workforce, and they will be the most diverse generation yet. Pew Research states that 48 percent are considered “racial or ethnic minorities.”

So, what does that mean for nonprofit fundraising?

Perhaps a lot. Subscriptions are just one way to connect with Gen Z donors. Here are a few helpful insights to expand your fundraising efforts to attract the younger generation.

1. Leverage subscriptions.

There is space for your ministry in the subscription economy. Forbes says the subscription economy is still on the rise. Dave Raley with Imago Consulting identifies three different subscription models: sponsorship, membership, or benevolence (sometimes referred to as “sustainer” giving).

2. Build loyalty with easy quitting.

Sounds counterintuitive, I know. Gen Z likes subscriptions, but they also “unlike” them. They don’t “stick with” their subscriptions like other generations. So, make it easy for donors to “freeze” their giving, and continue to communicate stories about the work. This makes it more likely they will re-engage. Plus, knowing they can easily cancel may make a Gen Z donor more likely to start giving in the first place.

3. Give them something to believe in.

If you’re Gen X, “Something to Believe In” is a Poison song. Gen Z may not care about the hairband era, but they do want to make a difference. 68% of this age group said they are conscious of the role they play to make the world a better place. Demonstrate how their involvement can make a difference. Invite them to be a part.

4. Be real.

Gen Z has grown up with social media. They know how to photoshop and curate just the right caption. And they can see through it. They want nonprofits to communicate clearly and honestly.

5. Tell good stories.

Compelling stories are a great tool for every age group. This generation consumes a lot of media, so videos are important. Organic, not overly-edited videos will help you win with this age group.

As you consider how you can engage with Gen-Z, remember you are doing good work that is making the world a better place. This generation wants that. Package that impact intentionally to attract the next generation of generosity.

Simplify Your Message: the Executive Summary

Telling a good story starts with knowing what you want your audience to take away. Make your stories compelling by keeping your message in focus. Start by developing an executive summary of your work—this is a resource that can help your donors and your own messaging.

Learn How

About Kristin Hammett

Kristin Hammett

As the Director of Nonprofit Success at The Signatry, Kristin Hammett works to train, consult, and equip nonprofits with fundraising solutions to connect God’s resources with His work

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