Nonprofit Insurance Program

How to Engage 20-Somethings in Your Cause

By Alexa Connelly
July 29, 2011
  1. Take time to understand what motivates your 20-something audience.
    Sixty-five percent of young adults said they would get involved in charitable efforts if they believed their involvement was large enough to make a difference. Develop information about your program that illustrates how individual contributions help, and then prompt them to act.
  2. Seed information in places the 20-something audience goes for news.
    Find the online places 20-somethings visit, such as online news sites (78 percent of this audience tries to stay informed about the causes they care about). Research the social media channels they use. Then be the source of information that prompts them to act.
  3. Make your messages social.
    Weave your social cause into young adults’ social networks. Join social media conversations that make sense, and make sure your comments are in context. Use the same communication methods as your target audience. After the Haiti earthquake, the Red Cross employed “mobile philanthropy.” By setting up a text donation number, the organization raised more than $30 million.
  4. Show how corporations you work with help support your cause.
    A full 75 percent of young adults surveyed believe corporations have the material resources to help, and 60 percent think corporations have the knowledge to support social causes. Nearly half of young adults feel companies are morally obligated to help support social causes, but fewer than 5 percent believe these brands are best positioned to help solve problems related to poverty, human rights, health, and education, even though they have the knowledge and resources to do so. In your communications, use examples to illustrate how your large donors are making a difference.

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