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  • Writer's pictureEthan Wickham

7 Tips for How Museums Can Attract Millennial Donors

There is no denying that Millennial donors are crucial to the success of any organization, but why are they so important to go after? They are just one generation, so why do their donations matter so much? It is because Millennials are now the largest and the most giving generation in history. And, they are the future.

So, how can museums attract Millennial donors and keep them? As a museum you may be struggling to attract this demographic, however, there are some things you can do to appeal specifically to this demographic.

Here are seven tips to maximize your efforts to bring in and keep more Millennial donors:

1. Communicate Why Their Donation Matters

Millennial donors want to know that their donation is making a difference. Be sure to communicate how their donation will be used and the impact it will have on your museum. This includes using social media to share impactful stories about your museum and its work.

Millennial donors also tend to be more interested in causes that they can relate to on a personal level. So, museums need to make sure their messaging is relatable and authentic. Social media is important because this is a platform where many of them are active. Millennials just want to know that their donation matters and this will help them know that.

2. Make it Fun

Millennial donors like to have fun! So, make sure your museum has an engaging social media presence and hosts the type of events that are appealing to them. This could include having a pop-up exhibit, live music, or a food truck festival on museum grounds.

These casual events are a great way of meeting potential Millennial donors. The more creative the idea, the more likely the Millennial audience will be interested in donating.

Another interesting idea for your donors is to have a museum walkthrough with food and live entertainment. You can also host a hybrid, or virtual auction to increase participation from Millennial donors as well. Millennials want to see that you care about them and their donation, so engaging them in a fun way is a great way to do that.

3. Make it Personal

Millennial donors want to feel appreciated for their donations. An example of this would be to get to know them individually and personalize an email or letter. This lets them know that you care for them beyond their donation.

Another way to attract Millennial donors is to use influencers to promote your message. Millennials are into social media, and influencers run the whole show.

Having an influencer shout your museum out on social media will bring in more Millennial donors because they listen to the influencer. It also feels more personal because a person they care about is telling them to donate to you. The more personalization, the more likely these Millennials are to become donors and start giving to your museum.

4. Keep Them Updated

Make sure to keep Millennial donors updated on how their donation is being used. They appreciate transparency and will be more likely to continue giving if they feel like they are kept in the loop. Millennial donors tend to be more interested in causes that offer transparency and accountability.

Millennials want the real truth and they want to know where their money is going. So, museums should make sure they are communicating openly about their finances and regularly about their impact.

5. Offer Different Ways to Donate

In addition to traditional monetary donations, offer other ways for Millennial donors to give back. This could include volunteer opportunities or donating artwork from their personal collections. Volunteer opportunities are also a big way to help Millennials get closer to your organization by seeing firsthand how your organization operates.

Allowing them to donate artwork or even NFT's from their collection lets them express their creative side, as well as what they are passionate about. Millennials sometimes want to be more creative than just donating money. They want to personally connect with your organization and ways of doing that are not always conventional. So host an engaging virtual or hybrid auction event, or volunteer session to get your donors excited about your museum!

6. Say Thank You

ALWAYS say thank you! Millennial donors, like all donors, appreciate being appreciated. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in building lasting relationships with Millennial donors. This generation values communication especially after they donate.

It would also help to say thank you in a creative way as well. Some examples of that would be a fun ecard or a social media post. This will convey that your "Thank You" is sincere. When you say thank you, Millennial donors will be more likely to donate again.

7. Make it Easy for Them to Donate

Your donation process must be simple and convenient. Millennial donors are used to making purchases and donations online, so make sure your museum’s website is up-to-date and user-friendly, and have a digital giving platform that offers text-to-give, QR-code-to-give or link-to-give.

Just remember, Millennial donors tend to be more interested in causes that they can relate to on a personal level. So, museums need to make sure their messaging is always relatable and authentic and on social media where Millennial donors are most active. If museums can focus on these things, they will be more likely to attract and keep the Millennial donor, and ensure they continue to a be vital supporter of your organization over time.

We hope that these Millennial engagement tips were helpful!

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