The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

More Must-Read Insight into Millennials: Interview with Kari Saratovsky (Part Two)

Read Part One »

After my initial sit-down with Kari Saratovsky, author of the just-released Millennial Donor Playbook (download your free copy here) I was thirsting to know even more about how to engage Millennials.

Here’s the second part of our conversation.

Nancy Schwartz: Kari, every organization, company, and political campaign I know is trying to engage Millennials. How do nonprofits—which have fewer resources—succeed?

Kara Saratovsky: Millennials want to be part of the action and part of the solution.

Nonprofits have to find meaningful ways to involve them and make them feel like a part of this process. It’s critical to engage with Millennials on their terms—allow them to co-create experiences with you.

Also, make engagement easy. Millennials are impulsive and will act on those impulses if it’s easy to act! Be clear and direct with your calls to action. Make it clear how they can engage with your organization.

Your research shows that Millennials support causes, not organizations. Yikes! What’s a nonprofit to do?

KS: Yep. Millennials support causes that are important to them, and they may not care much about the organization behind the cause they support. A shift from the way things have been for sure, but it’s definitely manageable. Here’s how:

Lead your cause or issue by sharing your unique methods and impact. Don’t stop at “like us” (meaning our organization) on Facebook. Go beyond that to show your organization’s unique value: “Like us” because we ensure that every kid in our community goes to bed with a warm meal. “Like us” because we are providing clean water to an entire village in Nairobi.

Lead with what you do, why you matter, who you impact. If you get that right, then Millennials (and everyone else) will connect with you on an emotional level and be more likely to support your organization.

Then what? As the challenge of engaging Millennials is better understood, we’ll be challenged with engaging Generation Z, and so on. How do we do it all?

Relax! We’re finding that there’s more that unites generations today than divides us. Although I’ve focused on understanding (and helping others understand) Millennials, I think it’s time we actually get beyond our obsession with differences among generations.

Instead, I urge nonprofits to work smarter today to stay current, keep communications and messaging relevant, create collaborative environments, and stop trying to reinvent themselves when a new generation comes of age with its unique expectations.

Organizations that want to thrive need to be able to adapt. They need to understand the needs of their stakeholders across generations and create a culture that supports and nourishes those similarities and differences. Go to it!

Download your copy of the Millennial Donor Playbook today.


With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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