Bellarmine communication professor, graduate offer nonprofits advice on reaching young donors

September 12, 2018

Image: Michael Strawser and Molly Melia

A Bellarmine University communication professor and one of his former students have published a column offering nonprofits advice on reaching potential young donors.


Learn more about Louisville's Sept. 13 online day of giving, which has raised nearly $14 million for local nonprofits since 2014.

Dr. Michael G. Strawser, assistant professor and director of graduate programs for the School of Communication, co-authored the article with Molly Melia, a recent master of arts in communication graduate now working as a marketing and communications associate for the Community Foundation of Louisville. It was published as part of The Voice-Tribune's coverage of Give For Good Louisville, a day of giving for more than 500 Louisville-area nonprofit organizations.

The authors note that nonprofits are encountering the same "generational crisis" that some workplaces are struggling to address. Strawser recently published a Courier Journal column on millennials in the workplace.

In their column, they offer three tips for cultivating young donors:
  • Focus on Generation Z: Target "philanthroteens" -- those even younger than millennials -- by creating opportunities to promote your campaign and volunteer. They are passionate, engaged and want to be involved.
  • Be mobile ready and digital friendly: Meet younger donors where they are and ask them how they want to be engaged. Emphasize mobile giving and online options, but don't forsake the old ways just yet.
  • Share impact across channels: Supporters, especially younger donors, need a clear call to action. Be transparent about what you need. Share successes. Relay impact. Emphasize community. Engage your donors in the narrative so your stories resonate even more.
Melia and Strawser recently took part in a panel discussion on next generation philanthropy during a training camp for Give For Good Louisville nonprofits.

For more of their advice, read the full column on The Voice-Tribune's website, published below the main story on Give For Good.

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