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Dear Non-Profits, Black Millennials Do Give


From Madam C. J. Walker to “Queen B” Beyonce, Black people have a long history of giving back to their communities. Studies show they give generously regardless of their income level and despite centuries of structural racism that have taken a toll on their earnings.


If you know where to find them, Black millennials can be a great target audience for fundraising for your campaign or organization, especially if your cause is beneficial to the Black community. That’s why Three(i) Creative Communications conducted a survey to find out why and how Black millennials like to give.


Here are some of the takeaways.


Give them options


Our survey found that Black millennials prefer to give in various ways. While 33% said they prefer to give money, 42% expressed a preference for donating their time and 24% said they’d prefer to give clothing or other goods. Cultivating a giving relationship that goes further than simply asking once for money can help you foster relationships with the potential to create life-long donors.


You should also think about options for how they can give. More than half of Black millennials in our survey said they would rather give through apps like CashApp, Venmo, and PayPal than more traditional methods like cash and checks.


Keep your messaging consistent


Make sure to communicate with potential donors often and stay on message. Studies show that people stick to what they know -- and that habit is even stronger when faced with multiple choices. It’s the same phenomena that has people choosing McDonalds over and over again. Though there may be other more enticing options out there, when they see those golden arches, they know they can expect the same taste whether they’re in Milan or Milwaukee.


So boil down your organization’s mission into one short phrase that you can repeat over and over again, because 73% of our respondents said that consistency helps build the trust you need to cultivate a giving relationship.


Use your existing network


The top three ways our respondents said they learned about causes they’ve donated to were social media (82%), word of mouth (70%), and events (49%). That doesn’t mean you should build your entire fundraising campaign on social media or forgo events. That means you can use the power of all three to fortify your efforts.


For example, host a virtual or in-person donor event that you can broadcast live on your social media page. Then have some of your current Black millennial donors act as brand ambassadors by spreading the word about your event.


Three(i)’s survey found that about 70% of the Black millenials who responded donated more than $100 in 2020. So whatever you do, don’t sleep on this demographic.