The Future of Nonprofits: Utilizing Technology To Increase Millennial and Gen Z Engagement 


Nonprofits are challenged to connect with audiences and create a compelling narrative to foster donations and engagement, all while faced with limited resources and budget.

Millennials and Gen Z have world-views shaped by technology, and are most likely to engage with nonprofit organizations that operate digitally since that is how they are used to shopping, gaming and interacting with others. Nonprofits that make it easy for people to donate, volunteer and learn more are more likely to get younger generations engaged in their mission.

Gen Z, in particular, is driven by causes such as social justice and equity; nine out of ten identified as being passionate about a social cause. Tying your messaging and donation campaign to these will help this generation identify with your mission and share your message with other digital natives.

How To Connect With Millennials & Gen Z Through Technology

Technology can provide advantages to nonprofits by streamlining their operations and equipping them with new outreach options that cater to younger generations.

Diversify Donation Capabilities To Mobile Payment Platforms & QR Codes

Millennials and Gen Zs engage more with non-profit organizations when the options for donation are diversified and digitized. Offering digitally optimized platforms and making use of simple payment methods generally attract more interest among donors in these age groups.

Mobile payment platform

Younger donors are more likely to make donations when they find out that the process is quick, uncomplicated and familiar; they have neither time nor interest in figuring out lengthy processes like mailing paper forms or visiting a location in-person.

They also want to be certain that the systems used to process monetary donations and personal information are secure, and gravitate toward platforms such as Venmo, PayPal, Stripe, and the like. As volunteers, they are also more likely to donate their time when they can do so remotely or on their own schedule.

Nonprofit organizations will increase the odds of donations and participation from younger generations if they do the following:

  1. Highlight the cause they would be supporting and show that others like them are also donors.
  2. Ask for the bare minimum amount of information – name, the amount of donation and billing information.
  3. Simplify and present the steps for payment in a very clear and easily understood manner––usually by means of integrating mobile payment platforms, such as credit card scanners or QR codes.

Use Messaging Technology To Communicate New Initiatives Or Important Announcements

Messaging technology is important when communicating with Millennials and Gen Z. Gone are the days when physical mail initiatives produced substantial results; instead, technology can offer options such as interactive bots that announce important events or introduce new initiatives. This allows people to immerse themselves directly in an efficient and user-friendly manner by incorporating this information seamlessly into their everyday lives. These generations are notably cause-oriented and want to understand the needs of nonprofits they support.

Promote The Ability To Donate Via Smart Speakers

Google Nest speakers

More than 400 nonprofit organizations are registered to receive donations through Amazon Alexa, one of the most popular smart speakers. It’s not surprising that smart speakers are now a main avenue of engagement among younger generations. Simpler, more efficient methods of participation—which are usually fed by technology—fit this type of engagement more directly into their lives with less hassle.

With proper set-up, users can simply tell a smart speaker to give a certain amount of money, then let technology do the rest. People these days are accustomed to fast-paced engagement and multi-tasking naturally welcomes this development.

Increase Activity On Social Media Sites Which Offer Live Streaming Features

Even though email marketing is still a proven effective tool for older generations and Millennials, Gen Z tends to be easier to engage via social media.

It is important that nonprofits not only increase the range of social media platforms used, but also the number and types of activities on these networks. Social media platforms that offer live streaming features in particular are excellent ways to attain nonprofit objectives for both monetary and participatory engagement; this is because live streaming offers a two-way conversation from both the live-streamer and audience, which is a statistically effective way to attract Gen-Z users.

Work With Hartman To Create A Strategy On How To Best Implement These Technologies

Technology plays a big role in helping organizations engage with different target markets in a way that is relevant and effective. But technology without strategy and leadership is a recipe for disaster. Hartman Executive Advisors helps nonprofits use technology more strategically to advance their mission and goals. Reach out today to learn more and schedule a no-cost consultation with a nonprofit IT strategy expert.


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