Either it be a religious org or an arts institution, many of these tips can be applied to attract millennials and young families.

  1. Baby Steps
    Start with 1-2 programs and go from there. Program examples: parent/young adult study groups (religious or arts/culture related), parenting classes, Young Families/Professional groups/committees, networking nights, a monthly family/young audience newsletter, and young family/young member support groups.
  2. Relationship Building
    Part of building a relationship is being there and listening to audience needs/wants from you. Program ideas: Young family dinners, weekend socials, clergy/staff to attend family/young adult functions, family-based services (once a month beyond traditional services), annual young member cocktail party/young committee gala, creating a family/young professional lounge, create affordable membership levels, enhance volunteer opportunities, seek feedback from core audience through surveys, & consistent online engagement .
  3. Create A Team
    If you want young families and millennials to be actively engaged in the org, the org needs to have recruiting from similarly aged folks: recruit current young audience members and young volunteers to help build relationships with target prospect, and get the younger audience on the staff and board, and actively contributing to online and print content.
  4. Context is Key
    When reviewing ideas consider: audience location in relation to orgs building, days and times of events, making programs accessible online, reviewing current successful programs and reviewing programs that were not successful as a tool to learn from. Ask core audience what they want from you.
  5. Time, time, time
    These programs take time and funds to develop, but with consistently hard work, and a diverse development team, these programs can be accomplished and successful. Consider a pilot program to test response and reaction.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

ED Spotlight

“It’s really important to be able to communicate the operation’s mission and goals in a compelling way, and in a way that intersects with a donor or potential donor’s interests. When you’re dealing with people who are making contributions to organizations they care about, it’s one of the most important and meaningful things that they’re doing” – Katherine Brown, Executive Director, New York City Ballet

{📸: NYC Ballet}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Its never to early connect with future patrons of any age and background. The Cleveland Orchestra is paving the way to engage in future audiences with programs ranging from introductory offers, targeted discounts and student ticket options w/ the focus on addressing economic and geographic barriers one may face. These programs make it possible for anyone to attend concerts and events and embrace in the arts.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Looking to reach a broader audience? Then establish PopUp exhibits/events/concerts particularly in the summer season at various locations to connect with new prospects and audiences. This is about giving the arts and culture to your community for free or low cost and making the PopUp interactive as a way to engage the public making them feel part of process and experience.

{📸: Rockport Music}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


From Jacob’s Pillow to the New York City Ballet, video marketing is the gateway to attracting new members and a younger audience. Video make an org’s content come alive while sharing a story versus trying to sell. Video is a creative way to communicate while enticing a viewer to share the content with their contacts and attend a future event. Video is also a personal way to connect with potential audiences near and far while giving prospects a taste of what makes the org unique and special.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Looking to increase your orgs revenue through fundraising? Then it’s time to host a 5k/10k event. Make the theme and course fun while sticking to the mission and values of the org. Ask race supporters and participants to help fundraise beyond registration costs, and set up a user-friendly event website with info and a donation platform. Hosting such events even twice a year may be optimal to an orgs revenue and fundraising goals.

{📸: Awesome Alpharetta}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


How well does your org utilise technology? Online giving has increased by 27% due to its ease and effectiveness, and enabling a donor quick access to learn about a nonprofit. Transparency of information and technology are key in today’s giving world

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit


Your nonprofit has an incredible story to share along with a cause that your prospects will want to support. Fortunately platforms such as social media allow storytelling to be visual, interactive, compelling and a way to connect with your community while you share the nonprofits mission. Social media and storytelling are a smart way to engage with current and new members while serving as a promotional strategy to broaden the core audience.

{📸: Washington DC Ballet}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

Donor Communication

Tip 1 of Donor Communications:

Make your donors of all levels feel part of the team. Make it known that their opinions matter towards organizational goals. Expand communication beyond newsletters and emails, and invite your donors to meetings and in-person functions to seek their feedback and ideas. For your younger donors, post questions on social media platforms and invite the younger generation to sit in board meetings and to participate in committees.

The best organizations thrive on diverse communication patterns and inclusiveness of donors on all levels.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

Getting Mobil

What’s a great way to attract new and current members to your org? Having a mobile-focused website and app to guide visitors through exhibits, attend programs virtually, and to learn and discover your nonprofit. Today’s orgs are now in greater competition with Netflix, Apple and smartphone app games as more people enjoy the comfort to stay home in today’s busy times. A few nonprofits that have successfully embraced the app arena: The Met, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Perez Art Museum Miami, and the Royal Ontario Museum to name a few. Let’s get folks back into our nonprofits with increased user experience!

{📸: The Met}

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit