The 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference was in DC last week with expanded offerings over previous years. Engagement with your audience - including millennials - was a major theme in sessions and discussions.
Held at the Marriott Wardman Park, the program included a pre-conference day, three days of education sessions and twice as many exhibitors in the “science fair” that participants could visit over two days.
Many sessions dealt with engagement. In the session You CAN Capture Lightning in a Bottle, the presenters discussed what the measure should be to see if your strategy is working. “A good metric is something you can understand and can be consistently measured.” She gave the make-up of a “smart goal”: S for specific, a goal shouldn’t be vague; M for measurable; A for attainable; R for relevant to your audience; and T for thrilling - “Boring goals don’t keep your team motivated.”
In the session Engage All the Things: Rethinking online engagement, the presenters advised to look at the channels your audience is using. They had advice for your gauging your monthly digital newsletter:
- What’s it doing for you?
- Is it the No. 1 engagement?
- Who are the people we want to engage? Ask them what do they want from you, and what will make them share your newsletter?
- Check your resources - do you have the time to do it?
Finally, in The Power of Technology and the Millennial Generation, the panel discussed how this generation thinks, and to what they respond. Millennials - those who are 12 to 33 years old - want to be treated equally. They expect more of their leaders and of themselves. They are idealists - they believe they can change the world. What some might view as a sense of entitlement in millennials, they see it as enthusiasm.
The panel said millennials as a generation are larger than the baby boomers. They value time, and they think they are more efficient, having grown up with the advantages of today’s technology. When it comes to joining, they identify more with the values of an organization rather than its legacy. Their loyalty is not so much to a brand, but to leaders and goals.
When it comes to campaigns, millennials respond best to those that are personal, such as birthday donations that occur yearly. Millennials also like to see how the donation is used. The overhead-to-mission ratio is very important to them.
They also respond to visual stories on your website. Have information on statistics available on the website. This shows them your organization’s transparency.