Not-for-profits today are operating in an increasingly competitive landscape and tasked with the challenge of achieving more with less. Many not-for-profits have survived by engaging their traditional donor, however, to future proof your organisation, effectively engaging with Gen Z donors is essential.

After exploring the attitudes, behaviours, and motivations of thousands of givers over the last few years, these are our top three tips for engaging with Gen Z donors.

1. Provide pathways of engagement and contribution

Generation Z have often been overlooked as donors due to their age, student status and lack of full-time employment. While it is true that their age can limit their current financial contribution, Gen Z are a values-driven generation, who desire to have a positive impact on the world around them and should not be discounted.

What Gen Z lack in their current financial contributions they make up for in their time, with 38% of Gen Z givers currently giving through volunteering. There is an opportunity for not-for-profits to explore appropriate pathways of engagement with their organisation so that when Gen Z is able to contribute more financially there is an existing relationship of trust.

Keep in mind that Gen Z (78%) are the most likely to be opportunity givers, giving when they hear about a need or an issue or when they are approached for a donation or support. Engage with Gen Z early, communicate often about the need and provide an opportunity for partnership where they can have a positive impact on the world around them at a young age.

2. Communicate the impacts

The number one element which builds trust in the not-for-profit sector for Gen Z donors is delivering strong outcomes (57%), followed by transparency (57%) and integrity (55%).
Gen Z have a strong desire to understand the impact their contribution has made. Hearing and understanding the story of how a life has been changed by their giving is highly motivating. So much so that Gen Z are the most likely generation to be extremely/very willing to trust an organisation to allocate resources to get the greatest return on their investment, even if this requires them to invest more than 20% into marketing and quality staff. Gen Z is highly focused on an organisations ability to achieve and communicate impacts.

3. Provide a frictionless digital experience

Almost nine in ten Gen Z (86%) value the seamless integration of digital purchases in their everyday life. Regardless of the type of organisation, the expectation is that the digital user experience is frictionless. Investing in technology and the digital experience can often be an expensive exercise. Despite these costs, it is likely the way of the future. More than three in five Gen Z (63%) are extremely/very open to participating in online fundraising initiatives.

When considering their motivations for getting involved in online initiatives Gen Z donors (56%) are almost three times as likely as Baby Boomers (20%) to be extremely/very motivated by one click donating options. Gen Z are twice as likely to be motivated by the integration of online and in person aspects of the campaign (54% cf. 26%) and the online community connected to the campaign (53% cf. 30%). With digital payments on the rise and the high value placed on the seamless integration of digital purchases, a frictionless digital experience is more important now than ever.


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