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The Millennial Impact Project, a partnership between Achieve and the Case Foundation, just wrapped up their fourth annual MCON – a two-day conference for cause and millennial engagement.

This year, an all-star cast of moderators and speakers led by Derrick Feldmann came together from all walks of life – filmmakers, entrepreneurs, journalists, marketers and nonprofiteers – to discuss what makes millennials tick.

While not specifically for nonprofits, there was a lot that fundraisers and charity executives could take away from the conference. After all, millennials represent a huge portion of the donor and volunteer pool (87% of millennials donated to charity last year).

Here are three takeaways for fundraisers:

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1. Millennials are channel agnostic

It was mentioned several times during the conference that millennials are channel agnostic. In other words, nonprofits don’t have to be on a specific social network or utilize one communication channel above others to reach millennials.

Millennials want to work with causes that stir their passions. This means that nonprofits have to communicate in an authentic and engaging way. Effective storytelling best gets the attention of millennials, so step up your content creation game.

2. Time and money are of equal value to millennials

Past generations are more comfortable writing a check from the comfort of their home office or kitchen table to support a cause. But not millennials. They want to get out and get their hands dirty, especially if they can put their volunteerism on display.

If you aren’t engaging millennials in caused-based activity, mission work, online advocacy and other tangible forms of volunteerism, now is the time to start.

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3. Work / life / home / fun is blurred, not balanced

While some generations strive for a work/life balance that consists of a clear separation between job and a home/social life, millennial preferences are more blurred.

In an interview with Entrepreneur, Feldmann stated that “millennials have a work-life blend—blending of work, blending of life-interest, blending of value, blending of passion and interest.”

This means that millennials want their 9-5 jobs to have a higher meaning and impact. They want to have fun and make a difference at work, not just after they punch out.

Nonprofit should consider tapping into this section of the workforce, yes, but also look for opportunities to get employers involved in the work of their mission.

If you haven’t been to an MCON conference before, be sure to keep an eye on the horizon for information on the 2015 event. You can even stream it online from the comfort of your home or office!

For more information on millennial engagement, be sure to download the 2014 Millennial Impact Report. The Report provides research, examples, and takeaways for companies looking to inspire and connect with the next generation workforce.

Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to "Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition" and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving. He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers - How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media.
Steven Shattuck