What I Learned About Gen Z And How It Applies To P2P 7712

What I Learned About Gen Z And How It Applies To P2P


“My generation’s got a lot of problems (that we didn’t start) to deal with during our lifetimes…I think change will happen with us.”

In the webinar hosted by DoSomething Strategic, Mary Noel walked us through how young people are showing up in society and what they are expecting in return. The experiences, perspectives and priorities felt incredibly encouraging, especially when combined with the potential of peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P). I have recapped a few of my favorite insights, as well as how you can apply them to your fundraising strategy on Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, powered by JustGiving.

Gen Z feels that citizens are most responsible to make changes to the problems in society.

They can be marching, TikToking or gaming but the same common thread weaves throughout: Gen Z is now joining us to help make a better world with community and creativity. They are huge in size, walking into the workforce, and taking their seat at the table to influence change. While this generation may not have the means to give now, relationship building with them starts now.

Additionally, they are experts at crowdfunding (which is when many people donate in smaller gift amounts like the $5-$35 range) and while they may not be able to make the large donation, they are willing to give what they have for the causes they care about. This partners well with P2P, especially when there is a sense of urgency; they are following their instincts and giving on impulse.

Apply these findings

  • Build a campaign with smaller gift amount calls to action. Use JustGiving’s Donate Deep Link to customize the donor experience so this amount is pre-filled in the form.

  • Start collecting their data. Add birthdate or year to your donor surveys or utilize tools that can help fill in the data gaps so you can segment and speak to this audience appropriately.

  • Create a challenge event. Encourage Gen Zers to gather a team of 4 and raise $200 or share the campaign a certain number of times or try and get 50 Gen Zers to give $5 each. Think about how you can take a big, complex goal or event and break it down into bite-sized actions they can take over the course of your timeframe.


Since Covid-19 began, 3 out of 4 Gen Zers have either taken an action on a case they care about or would like to.

Acts of service, volunteering and advocating has really increased over the last year due to many reasons (racial injustice, presidential election, global pandemic). Gen Z offers hands and voices that are willing to take action. This enthusiasm, in addition to their digital proficiency, makes them a prime candidate to start fundraising or promoting your campaigns. There is no perfect-fit cause (they care about everything) so be willing to try (and possibly fail) at a few programs before you find “the right fit”.

Apply these findings

  • Enable personal pages on your campaigns with a social media toolkit. Read this blog if you want samples.

  • Provide a variety of ways to get involved. Gen Z may want to give $10, create a personal page, share on social, volunteer, record a video of their story, join a live event, host a livestream, write a blog... You get the point. Think about the entire scope of giving, not just the financial aspect, and put their energy to good use.

  • Prioritize retention but be realistic. They are not as loyal to brands as much as causes, so try new ways to build the relationship. For example, you would likely never tag one of your major donors on social media and say thank you for the donation, but publicly acknowledging a Gen Z’s gift through your social media profiles is a great start to building the relationship. Really speak to the impact of the gift in your acknowledgements and calls to action.

They are willing to challenge what is possible.

Diverse participation and inclusion is the new expectation; Gen Z wants to see themselves represented in content and if they don’t see it, they will build it themselves. Organizations who are struggling to connect or acquire younger audiences can consider offering leadership and advisory opportunities. For example, you can offer a fellowship or leadership program that is application-based and diverse. This team can then develop programming and activities that are attractive and effective to and for their peers. They are looking for creativity and will not wait for a seat at the table- It there is a need, they will fill it, with or without you.

Apply these findings

  • Consider the different types of Administrative Roles in JustGiving. You can set up an intern or volunteer on the platform to run a campaign just for Gen Z.

  • Connect with a local program or community and get Gen Zers involved. Some organizations will partner with youth or young adult groups and as an action, those members have to fundraise on behalf of the organization. Build community relationships and philanthropic youth.

  • Promote DIY fundraising. Allow Gen Z to create their own ways to participate. Maybe instead of donating money on GivingTuesday, they want to have a contest to raise the most money and shave their signature moustache (bonus if they livestream while they shave) once they hit the target. The trick here is to find something that is both inspiring without being restrictive; your goal is to connect with them and provide opportunities for them to be represented while also feeling like their voice is making a difference.


This is by no means an exhaustive list, so tell me... How are you inspiring and building connections with Gen Z?

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