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TIP SHEET: 7 Ways to Instill Generosity within Millennials Through Your Message

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com August 2018 1 TIP SHEET Seven Ways to Instill Generosity within Millennials Through Your Message BY JOE GARECHT Every organization wants to reach millennial donors. Building relationships with young givers is a key step to developing a pipeline of new, lifelong supporters for your organization. Millennials may not have the capacity to give as much as their older counterparts, but engaging them early is crucial to the future success of your mission. Churches, ministries, and other faith-focused organizations can use the following strategies to find, cultivate, and ask millennial donors to get involved: 1 Stay true to your message. Many faith-centric organizations think the best way to appeal to younger generations is by watering down their messages or "modernizing" their visions. This change is most often seen in tone and style but is sometimes focused on the core message of the organization. For organizations connected with faith traditions backed by thousands of years of history, this can represent a major shift. Either way, it is almost always a mistake. In terms of generosity, the most successful ministries I have worked with were those that stayed true to their core visions, values, and traditions. Young people of this generation have thousands of messages coming at them every day—most of which were created yesterday and will be gone tomorrow. They are seeking a foundation that is rock-solid and built on truth. Your organization can help provide that foundation. Don't water down your message, or else your faith-focused mission will blend in with all the other modern institutions vying for the hearts and minds of today's youth. 2 Be authentic. Many organizations also make the mistake of trying to act like millennials to attract young people to their cause. You can see this in hundreds of fundraising appeals that are supposedly written by a fellow millennial just after a mountaintop experience—but were clearly written by a 60-year-old development director sitting in an office on the eighth floor. Be authentic. Be who you are. If you're a long-time veteran of a faith organization, be the voice of experience and wisdom that young donors crave. If you are a pastor, don't try to write or talk like your youth minister. Millennials are looking for an authentic voice that speaks the truth with love.

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