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crowd of people in Paris
Photo by James Cridland,
Creative Commons license via Flickr

Every generation has a unique identity. Or so marketers who make a living crafting unique selling points for each generation say. 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported on a study from Achieve Guidance called the 2013 Millennial Impact Report. It's available as a free PDF download and is chock-full of good advice. But don't expect these tactics to only attract people under 35. The advice ranges from website upkeep to email design to volunteer management and donor cultivation. There's no reason that these modern digital organizing best practices can only be applied to the youngest adult generation. 

The key theme of the report is this: focus your message how your organization impacts the world rather than how you make the sausage. People are far more interested in movements than they are in organizations. The study found that people prefer to give money on a secure website and are open to making small, recurring donations if they understand how their money will be used - and in particular who it will impact. 

Translating the best practices highlighted in the report, here are 9 ways to attract people to your nation.

1. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

This is super easy - simply select the Aware theme, which is the default theme for new websites. 

keep your website updated
Advice from the Millenial Impact Report.

2. Use concise copy and powerful visuals to tell the story of how your work helps people.

Remember that community organizing starts by telling how together we can accomplish great things: clearly define how you want people to get involved and what your collective mission is. Don't bother spinning stories of how your organization operates - leave that information for informal gatherings of people with extremely deep connections to your organization.

Additional ideas:

Telling your story begins with your website 

A 'Visual Revolution' is changing the way we communicate 

3. Encourage and reward sharing

Pages in your nation automatically encourage sharing via Twitter and Facebook. You can set up leaderboards to publicly thank social sharers and using point people, you can nurture relationships with people who publicly support your cause.

why people prefer to give
why people give
Advice from the Millenial Impact Report.

4. Create secure donation pages and explain clearly how money will impact people

It is quite easy to set up a secure donation page on your nation and include a strong reason to give in the introduction portion of the page.

5. Regularly refresh your website content

First, you'll want to create a content strategy, which should encompass all aspects of your communication - from your website to your social media accounts to email communication and in-person conversations. Next, create a content plan. Finally, enhance your flexibility by using our scheduling feature. 

Maintaining a blog on your homepage is one way to ensure your website doesn't get old. Be sure to separate content using the "before the flip" and "after the flip" areas, so your homepage doesn't get too cluttered.

6. Clearly define your volunteer needs

In the study, people were frustrated at not knowing how their volunteer time would be used. By incorporating roles into your volunteer signup pages, you'll take the guess work out of the process.

7. Offer volunteer training online

You can create pages on your website that can only be viewed by people who have logged in or have a particular permission level.

On this type of page, you can place training modules, including embedded videos and slides or other documents. You could confirm comprehension of the training material with a survey to be taken after viewing the appropriate content. If using this option, be sure to set the survey to not publish answers publicly. 

educate and challenge site visitors
Advice from the Millenial Impact Report.

8. Develop a process for supporters to engage in decision-making on behalf of your organization.

First, make sure the leadership of your organization understands the importance of empowering supporters. You can use suggestion boxes to solicit opinions online. You can also incorporate next step discussions into volunteer opportunities, one-on-one meetings, and fundraising events.

9. Create opportunities for ongoing leadership

As people become more engaged with your organization, ask them to take on more responsibility. Perhaps suggest creating a personal fundraising page and hosting an event? People with additional time and passion for your cause can be given intern access to your nation and become point people. Be sure to ask people how they're interested in supporting your mission and allow them the opportunity to expand their transferable skills.

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