Webinar recap: "Future-proof giving: Securing gifts from younger donors in 2023"

August 10, 2023
min read
Webinar recap: "Future-proof giving: Securing gifts from younger donors in 2023"

Did you miss our latest webinar on "Future-proof giving: Securing gifts from younger donors in 2023"? We've gathered the biggest takeaways for you.

Getting to know Millennials and Gen Z


  • Born between 1981 - 1996 (aged 27 to 42)
  • Around 73M Millennials in the US
  • Recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the US
  • More than half of all Americans are Millennials or younger

Gen Z:

  • Born between 1997 - 2012 (aged 11 to 26)
  • Around 70M Gen Z in the US
  • 58% of Gen Z are currently 18+

Millennials and Gen Z breakdown

Elder Millennials:

  • Born between 1981 - 1989 (aged 34 - 42)
  • The last micro-generation to remember life before Internet and widespread cell phone usage

Younger Millennials:

  • Born between 1990 - 1996 (aged 27 - 33)
  • Even the youngest Millennials are nearing thirty

Older Gen Z:

  • Born between 1997 to 2002 (aged 21 - 26)
  • The first digital natives -- incredibly tech-savvy

5 insights into Millennial & Gen Z donors

  1. They have an investor mindset.
  2. They keep track of their money.
  3. They're increasingly charitable with their time.
  4. Incomes are rising quickly.
  5. Millennials stand to inherit from the Great Wealth Transfer.

Tips & strategies you can use

1. Get creative to find prospects

For consulting, big law, and investing, use Glassdoor to understand salaries. For tech, look at publicly-traded companies, recent IPOs (initial public offerings), and acquisitions. Sign up for the local tech and startup newsletters in your city.

2. Embrace Donor-Advised Funds

DAFs have shown stellar growth in the last 5 years, and Millennials are the fastest-growing portion of DAF givers. The average compound growth rate of dollars granted by Millennials is 29.6%. Many workplaces offer DAFs as a perk, so more and more young professionals are opening them. A Millennial with a DAF is a potential lifetime donor.

3. Update your donate pages for online & mobile

Your online donate page is the only way most of these donors will interact with you (and gets 10x to 100x the traffic of your "ways to give" page). Plus, young donors are unlikely to pick up the phone to call and ask you how to make a non-cash gift.

4. Meet the younger generations where they are

Texting and apps are how next-gen donors are most comfortable communicating. You can be more personal (texts, individual emails, social media DMs) -- in fact, texts have nearly 100% open rates among these groups, while 19% say they "never check voicemails."

5. Cultivate your volunteer base

Educate them on creative ways to support your cause and ways to stay involved. Implement a volunteer-specific giving circle; many next-gen donors participate in peer-to-peer fundraising and enjoy raising money for causes they care about. Help them feel like a part of your org – the more connected they feel to your mission, the more eager they'll be to support you.

6. Show your impact

Millennials and Gen Z are proud philanthropists. They want to support a cause more than a specific org. Feeling like their gift “didn’t matter” is the #1 reason for donor attrition among Millennials. Emphasize ways that they can give that have a bigger impact on your cause (like stocks, DAFs, or crypto).

7. Don't wait on planned giving

29% of wills made on FreeWill are created by people 20-44 (Gen Z + Millennials). Next-gen donors are much more likely to include bequests than Boomers & Silent Generation: 22% of will-makers 18-24 included a bequest in their estate plans, compared to <20% in every other age group. This may be because they're more charitable and/or because they have fewer children.

Watch the full webinar recording to learn our specific tips for fundraising from Millennials and Gen Z donors.

Interested in what we do at FreeWill? Schedule a 1-on-1 conversation with our team to learn more about how we've raised $8.1 billion for our nonprofit partners.