4imprint, LLC

| Updated: July 12, 2021 4 min read

Many members of Gen Z, or those born after 1996, are now part of the workforce. They’re earning a paycheck and looking for ways to contribute or volunteer. Knowing how to reach Generation Z is crucial to your nonprofit’s ability to grow its network and programs.

Gen Z offers a fresh perspective and a keen awareness of pressing issues. What’s more, according to a recent study, 60% of them want their work to make a difference. Every generation has its own tastes and motivations—and Gen Z is no exception. To find out how to reach Generation Z, keep reading.

Tap into their passion for change

Members of Generation Z have been exposed to a pandemic and economic uncertainty. Being plugged in as often as they are means they receive instant news about the world’s events. This inspires action. In fact, 26% of 16- to 19-year-olds regularly volunteer for various causes. Their strong interest in volunteering has earned them the nickname “philanthro-kids.”

To reach this always-on group, concise is the way to go. Craft simple yet bold statements to cut through all the digital noise. And tailor your communications to their personal tastes and interests as much as possible.

Display the values that support your organization’s work on nonprofit swag items, like a spiral notebook and custom pen. Send them to people who inquire about volunteer opportunities, or as a thank-you gift for a donation.

Get tech-savvy

Gen Z is a tech-savvy bunch. About 91% of Gen Z jobseekers say technological sophistication positively impacts their desire to work for a company. Likewise, they may also look for nonprofits with a solid digital footprint.

If you use a customer-relationship management program (CRM) to manage your list of donors and supporters, start segmenting your Gen Z contacts into a group. Create guidelines about the messages best suited to them. Do you have clear incentives you can offer? This group often wants more than the traditional volunteer experience. In addition to doing good for the community, they also want to learn new skills and build their resumes.

Once you have messaging that’s on point, start a conversation with your team about getting the right digital assets and Gen Z’s preferred social media channels (especially Facebook® and Instagram®) up and running, if you haven’t already. Research suggests that Gen Z has developed a high tolerance for digital ads so consider this medium for targeted messaging.

And don’t forget hashtags! Encourage them to share something with a hashtag and offer them an entry into a prize drawing for doing so. You can offer all kinds of nonprofit swag items, from ceramic mugs and tote bags to wireless chargers.

Update your website

Generation Z spends more time on mobile devices than past generations. Therefore, your website must be mobile-friendly. Remember, Gen Z often reads (and scans) on the fly. Here are a few quick mobile tips to make sure your website stands up:

  • Format your emails for mobile devices. Make them easier to read with bold call-to-action buttons.
  • Cut unnecessary text, keeping your messages simple and concise.
  • Go easy on the eyes with a bigger font size.
  • Decrease image sizes for faster page loads.

Leverage the power of social media influencers

This group of “digital natives” grew up with torrents of information at their fingertips. They like to cut through it by enlisting the help of influencers who inform them of new trends, products and ideas.

While it would be great to get the help of a major social media influencer, organizations can benefit from influencers of all sizes. Those connected to your organization—staff, donors and volunteers—are actually “influencers” in their own personal networks. Ask for their help supporting your mission. Offer suggestions about content they can post—personal stories are most effective. Perhaps they can even share their own experiences about how they came into contact with your organization or why they chose to donate to it. Remember to thank influencers for their efforts. A T-shirt imprinted with your logo makes a great thank-you gift.

We hope these tips about how to reach Generation Z have been useful. They can help you attract a passionate group of young people who are always seeking new ways to support something bigger. Using the right messaging in the right places can encourage them to volunteer, donate money, or help out in other ways.