DOI: 10.1002/nvsm.1816 ISSN: 2691-1361

Engaging a new generation of donors: A relationship management theory approach to communication between nonprofits and millennials

Kimberly A. Parker, Sarah A. Geegan, Samantha N. Pfeiffer, Ansley M. George, Danielle E. Jaffe, Adriane Grumbein, Sylvia Scheuer, Allison D. Brown
  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics


Current evidence on philanthropic giving to nonprofit organizations (NPOs) suggests that NPOs are not successfully cultivating relationships with prospective donors in the millennial generation; this has negative implications for the organizations' future financial sustainability. The current investigation employed a framework grounded in relationship management theory to explore how NPOs can better engage with this target audience. A series of focus groups revealed nuanced factors that facilitated relationship‐building between millennials and NPOs, rooted in the theoretical constructs of trust and openness. These results can be used to guide NPOs' donor‐engagement strategies focused specifically on millennials, thus guiding long‐term donor relations efforts.

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