The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Must-Read Insight into Millennials: Interview with Kari Saratovsky (Part 1)

Read Part Two »

Wow! I’m amazed and delighted by the just-released Millennial Donor Playbook (download your free copy here). We finally have a much-needed guide to engaging these prospects who are influencing change across organizations and generations.

When I finished reading the Playbook, I was thirsting to know even more, so I asked to interview superstar author Kari Saratovsky.

Kari Saratovsky

Nancy Schwartz: Kari, why did you dig into this topic?

Kari Saratovsky: I’ve spent the better part of the past five years trying to understand the complexity of what is now the largest and most diverse generation in our history.

What I’ve learned is that while organizations are on an endless search for the silver bullet to engaging Millennials, there is no magic wand to engage the broad range of Millennial perspectives and backgrounds. Alas!

However, Millennials will be the recipients of a $41 trillion transfer of wealth. This presents nonprofits with a huge opportunity to build relationships today that will deepen over time. When NFG recognized that its community was struggling to engage this younger donor cohort, I jumped on the chance to craft this guide.




Do Millennials really have different expectations when it comes to their philanthropic giving?

Yes and no.

Millennials want what any smart donor wants. They want to know the impact of the dollars they invest in an organization. They want to be thanked and recognized for their efforts. They want to feel like they’re making a tangible difference.

But they’re also impulsive and want to donate easily, whether that’s online, via their phones, or whatever other device is on hand. Plus, because they have limited dollars today, they want to be able to pool their resources with friends and peers for a greater impact. All of this is forcing organizations to get smarter with their outreach to this generation.

Kari Quote

You talk about embracing the “Millennial mindset.” What does that mean, and how do you make it happen?

Embracing the Millennial mindset is an opportunity for organizations to integrate qualities that are important to Millennials—such as openness, transparency, and appreciation of diversity and collaboration—into their culture asap.

This prerequisite to current and future fundraising success applies to donors across all generations—and it’s prompting a shift in organizational culture, from large, national-affiliate organizations to small, community-based ones.

Millennials probably aren’t your most generous donor cohort today, but they are the leading indicator of online trends and where your organization needs to shift its communications and fundraising focus.

But remember: The only way to get there is to share this recommendation, using data and anecdotes, to get buy-in from your peers and leadership. Everyone has to be invested in making this shift, and it won’t happen overnight. So get started now!

Peer-to-peer is big in online giving. What’s the secret of five-star peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns?

Organizations get the greatest response from peer-to-peer campaigns when they equip their existing donor base with the tools to make it easy for them to engage their friends, colleagues, and families. All of a sudden, you can connect with people who may be one or two times removed from your immediate network, and the possibilities to build upon that are endless. That’s exponential reach, at least potentially.

But to open that door, you have to be willing to relinquish some control and trust that your people know what their families and friends care about and want. And you have to remain confident that the most passionate members of your network will be the strongest champions of your cause.

We provide specific how-tos in the Playbook. If you’re still trying to decide if peer-to-peer or social fundraising is right for you, review this list of questions you should be asking.

Download your copy of The Millennial Donor Playbook today.

We’ll be back with Part 2 soon. Thanks so much, Kari!


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.

Raise More This Year with Easy-to-Use Fundraising Software that Gets Results

Learn More

Share your thoughts!

Join the conversation to offer your insight and experience. Have a question? We’d love to hear it!

About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

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

Read More

Want to raise more money and learn how to market your cause with bigger impact? You’re in the right place! The Nonprofit Marketing Blog is managed by our team of experts here at Network for Good. We’re here to bring you the best in nonprofit marketing trends, fundraising techniques, technology developments, and amazing nonprofit examples.

Want to be a better nonprofit marketer and fundraiser? Get alerts for free tips, key content, and other training opportunities.

Subscribe