Millennials: Reshaping Online Giving

NPR recently posted an article on their “All Tech Considered” blog about how Millennials are drastically changing how we give to nonprofits — especially online. “Millennials are spending — and giving away their cash — a lot differently than previous generations, and that’s changing the game for giving, and for the charities that depend on it,” the article by Elise Hu says.

One reason is a matter of trust — Millennials want to be sure that their money is not going into a black hole. Of course, one way that successful charities are gaining trust is through technology, where they can interact with their donors and show them exactly how their donations are making an impact.

This leads to another reason that Millennials donate or not: They want to make sure their money is an investment. “It may seem something simple. It’s just semantics: donation vs. investment. But I think to a millennial, who’s grown up in a very different world, one that’s more participatory because of the digital tools that we have, to them they want to feel like they’re making an investment. Not just that they’re investing their capital, but they’re investing emotionally,” says Amy Webb, who forecasts digital trends for nonprofit and for-profit companies.

Donation Technology 

But most importantly, Millennials are most likely to donate if the charity offers technology that makes the giving process quick and simple. “[Webb] says any philanthropy without a smart digital platform — not just for donations but for empowering a community of givers — will be left behind.”

“There are a lot of people who are more willing to be generous with 20, 30 and 50 dollars, but their time is actually worth something. And the thought of pulling out their credit card and fighting through a two- and three- and four-page form is just too much,”  says Scott Harrison, CEO and found of the nonprofit Charity: Water. On the Charity: Water website, giving is as simple as a couple of clicks.

This is the main mission of Snowball: To make giving a simpler, easier and quicker process. “We want to create  more money for good causes than even the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation,” says Snowball CEO John Killoran ambitiously. “People will give more money than they are giving [if it’s a simple two-click process]. This is an amazing way to raise money for a good cause.”

Snowball is a payment and donation platform that allows repeat donors to give with just two simple clicks: Donate and Confirm. The technology is simple and secure and makes giving an easy process. It works particularly well with the Millennial demographic which would love give to charities that strike a chord with them, but often can only afford to give smaller donations. According to 2013 Millennial Impact Report, 40% of Millennials gave at $1-50 levels while 23% gave at $51-100 levels. 52% of Millennials said they would be interested in monthly giving and 84% said they would prefer to give online.

Oftentimes, they are deterred from giving because of the time and effort it takes to go through many clicks and filling out their personal and billing information time and time again. With Snowball, they can donate with two simple clicks each month — either straight from their email inbox, from mobile or web, or from Snowball QR codes on posters, signs and merchandise.

“Designers spend most their time finding ways to save their donors time, trimming as much lag time or obstacles to giving online as possible,” says Elise Hu in her article for NPR. Snowball has designed just that.

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