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What Drives Young Alumni to Give

May 2023 - READ IN 3 MINUTES

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Delving into Gen-Z Donors – What Drives Young Alumni to Give

Generation Z (Gen Z) is one of the most vocal and passionate generations, making them a prime cohort to become supporters of philanthropy. In fact, a recent Edelman survey found that 70 percent of Gen Zers are actively involved in a social or political cause. But, these digital natives are constantly flooded with charities and crowdfunding campaigns that saturate their social media feeds.  

It’s hard to know how to cut through the noise and present them with a message that resonates and inspires them to give back to their school. 

Until recently, there was little data on Gen Z philanthropy. But, a new study investigates the attitudes of Gen Z towards charitable giving and donation behavior.

In the latest GiveCampus eBook, 5 Ways to Engage Young Alumni, we apply these learnings to industry knowledge and best practices for alumni engagement and giving. You’ll find actionable insights to guide the development of your communications and donor campaigns for your Gen Z alumni.

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This eBook is a comprehensive guide to young alumni giving. Read on for a taste of what it covers and learn how to craft messaging that resonates with your Gen Z audience.

3 Tips for Crafting Campaign Messaging that Resonates with Gen Z 

Crafting a compelling campaign is crucial for every donor cohort. But, when it comes to Gen Z, having the right messaging could be the difference between gaining a life-long donor or alienating a valued alum. Here are some tips for how to frame your fundraising outreach to better appeal to young alumni. 

1. Lead with authenticity and transparency

For Gen Z, authenticity is paramount. Having grown up in a digital era saturated with advertising, they’ve become adept at navigating promotional content. They don’t mind being marketed to, however they draw the line when something lacks clarity, relevance, or truth. You can’t get away with hollow, high-level content. For this generation, you’ll need to lead with authenticity and transparency. Communicate clearly where their donation will go and how it will have an impact.  

2. Emphasize the cause not the institution

Gen Z is inclined to prioritize personal connections over generic contributions. So, rather than putting your school at the forefront of your messaging, lead with the cause or individuals their donation will support. For example, is there a particular community of students their donation will help?

3. Utilize peer-to-peer fundraising

Educational fundraisers have long leaned into the power of peer-to-peer fundraising. Online social fundraising platforms like GiveCampus have only made it easier to empower donors to encourage their fellow alumni to get involved in giving. An endorsement from a trusted peer holds immense sway in the realm of philanthropy—among Gen Z in particular.  


Hopefully these quick tips get your wheels turning when it comes to your fundraising messaging for this generation. For a comprehensive look at how to engage your young alumni, be sure to read our in-depth Ebook. 

You’ll find more tips on Gen Z messaging in addition to valuable recommendations for your fundraising strategy as a whole—like using mobile-first fundraising tools and making your campaigns fun and inclusive. 

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