Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

How to Build Relationships with Your Future Major Donors and Board Members: Millennials

Written by a fellow Millennial, this article speaks to ways which arts organizations can better prepare for a future Millennials as board members and donors.

Allot of the things in the article we have probably already ‘learned’ about or heard about, but I liked this article because it directly addresses the future of this demographics giving.

While currently only 11 % of Charitable giving comes from MIllennials, it will only be a matter of time until Millennials will be the major arts donors and board members.  The author argues that Millennials are highly concerned with organizational accountability, and more interested in specific causes that ‘organizations as a whole’. For this reason, and others, approximately 70% of Millennials who will donate this year will not repeat the gift to the same organization next year. The author argues that “Millennials are fickle creatures and are the least likely of the demographics to develop organizational ties.”

We need to engage with them(us) now, so they (we) do have loyalty and want to give later on.

As we think about this, I thought it would be interesting to ask a couple of questions:

What organizations do you support, if any, and is this for specific cause or because you are dedicated to the organization? ( this does not have to be an arts organization)

What would you guys argue are good ways to engage millennial into building concrete ties and loyalty to organizations?

How important do you think it is to give to an organization vs. give to a specific cause?

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2 comments on “How to Build Relationships with Your Future Major Donors and Board Members: Millennials

  1. lcrowley2014
    October 17, 2014

    Interesting article… I’m sure, as the article alludes to that Millennial will contribute far more than 11% of charitable giving once we all grow up and find steady income. Perhaps more will change as we age to, but I’m sure that meeting potential donors where they are will always be good advice.
    I like the questions you raise. Personally, I’ve always supported organizations – with what little I can – that I feel a personal attachment to, that I have worked for in the past or volunteered for…but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t support an organization that I have little experience with but believe in their mission..
    I think the best way to build loyalty is through transparency or an organization or cause. I like to know what my money is going toward.
    A possible way to engage these cause-giving, not org-giving millennial would be to promote or speak from the cause when appealing to the potential donor, rather than speak from the organization behind a cause, if that makes sense. And to make it clear that a donor can support a specific cause within an organization if that is possible at your organization – such as supporting the Saturday afternoon children arts classes over bringing in international artists to future exhibitions.

  2. laurenelizabethdickel
    October 19, 2014

    Thanks for your comment!

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