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6 Charities That Are Leading The Way In Engaging Gen Z

In our ongoing exploration of how charities can effectively engage with Gen Z, it's crucial to understand the core strategies that resonate with this generation before delving into real-life examples.

By Reason Digital · May 13, 2024

6 charities that are leading the way in Engaging Gen Z

Let’s start with a recap of the previous article.

Gen Z, born in the late 1990s to the early 2010s, is characterised by its native digital savviness, social consciousness, and desire for authentic engagement. We’ve broken down and condensed the six key strategies used by charities to capture the attention and support of Gen Z: 

1. Ability to Partake in Direct Involvement

Gen Z values active participation and meaningful engagement with causes they care about. Unlike previous generations, they don’t just want to write a check and move on. Instead, they seek opportunities to volunteer their time, contribute skills, and directly impact positive change. Charities that offer hands-on experiences, volunteer programs, and internships resonate deeply with Gen Z by providing avenues for them to make a tangible difference without spending money they may not yet have. 

 2. Transparency and Accountability

 Transparency is paramount for Gen Z, who are highly attuned to social and environmental issues. They want to know how their contributions make a difference and where their money goes. Charities that openly share information about their operations, finances, and impact build trust and credibility with Gen Z donors.  

3. Contextualising Issues on a Small Scale

Gen Z seeks to understand the real-world impact of their contributions. Charities that contextualise large-scale problems into manageable, small-scale actions resonate with Gen Z by making the mission relatable and actionable. By highlighting specific initiatives and showcasing the tangible outcomes of their work, charities empower Gen Z to take meaningful action. 

4. Digital Engagement

As the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media, Gen Z values digital engagement with charitable organizations. They use online platforms to express their values, support causes, and engage with like-minded individuals. Charities that leverage social media, interactive content, and digital storytelling capture the attention and support of Gen Z. 

5. Personalized Communication and Targeted Visibility

Gen Z expects personalised communication and targeted outreach from charitable organisations. They respond positively to content that speaks directly to their interests, values, and preferences. Charities that use data-driven approaches to tailor their messages and interactions resonate deeply with Gen Z by creating meaningful connections. Charities build rapport and loyalty with Gen Z supporters by delivering personalised content across various channels. 

6. Optimized Websites

Given Gen Z’s reliance on mobile devices for information and engagement, charities must prioritise website optimisation for mobile users. A mobile-friendly website ensures seamless navigation, fast load times, and an immersive user experience. Charities that optimise their websites for mobile devices attract and retain Gen Z donors by providing convenient access to information, donation options, and engagement opportunities. 

Now, let’s explore real-life examples of charities leading the way in implementing these strategies to engage Gen Z audiences effectively. 

Top 6 Charities With Unique Engagement of Gen Z

1. Ability to Partake in Direct Involvement: Be My Eyes 

Be My Eyes connects people needing sight support with volunteers and companies anywhere in the world, through live video and artificial intelligence. It epitomises the concept of direct involvement by providing a platform where Gen Z volunteers can directly help support the lives of individuals living with visual impairments. From the comfort of their smartphones, volunteers can offer assistance with daily tasks, such as describing colours, reading product labels, or navigating unfamiliar places. This hands-on approach provides invaluable assistance and fosters a sense of purpose and connection among Gen Z volunteers who may have time to offer good causes rather than money. By offering tangible opportunities for meaningful engagement, Be My Eyes makes it easy for Gen Z to positively influence the lives of others. 

2. Transparency and Accountability: The Trussell Trust 

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks that provide emergency food and support to people in poverty. It sets the gold standard for transparency by openly publicising its impact with clear figures and statistics. Gen Z, being socially and environmentally conscious, values knowing exactly where their contributions are going and how they’re making a difference. The Trussell Trust’s commitment to accountability earns the trust and support of Gen Z donors who seek transparency in charitable organizations. By providing detailed insights into their operations and outcomes, The Trussell Trust demonstrates integrity and builds credibility with Gen Z supporters.

3. Contextualising Issues on a Small Scale: The National Trust

The National Trust is the biggest conservation charity in Europe, looking after 250,000 hectares of farmland, 780 miles of coastline, and more than 500 historic properties across the UK. It excels in contextualising large-scale issues into tangible, small-scale actions. By sharing educational videos and articles highlighting specific monuments and natural landscapes that patrons’ donations help preserve, the National Trust makes the broader mission relatable and actionable. Gen Z appreciates understanding the real-world impact of their contributions, making The National Trust’s approach effective while promoting digital engagement.

4. Digital Engagement: Mind

Mind campaigns for mental health to be an everyday priority and provides support ranging from crisis helplines to supported housing. Mind cleverly leverages the power of social media, particularly platforms like TikTok, to engage Gen Z in conversations about mental health. Through its funny and relatable videos published to its 41,000 TikTok followers, Mind breaks down barriers and stigma surrounding mental health issues while providing valuable resources and support. By meeting Gen Z where they are online, Mind effectively spreads awareness and fosters meaningful engagement. Through interactive content and engaging storytelling, Mind creates a sense of community and belonging among Gen Z audiences, encouraging open dialogue that goes a long way towards destigmatising mental health issues.

5. Personalised Communication and Targeted Visibility: Terrence Higgins Trust

Terrence Higgins Trust is a charity that supports people living with HIV and campaigns for HIV prevention through sexual health and wellbeing programmes. The charity understands the importance of personalised communication in capturing Gen Z’s attention. With a strong presence on Instagram (especially through informational stories with easy-click links to their services) and a vibrant YouTube channel, Terrence Higgins Trust delivers tailored content that resonates with Gen Z’s interests and values. Through targeted visibility and personalized outreach, The Terrence Higgins Trust creates meaningful interactions and cultivates a loyal community of Gen Z advocates.

6. Optimised Websites: Brook

Across the board, charities are recognizing the need to optimize their websites for mobile devices to cater to Gen Z’s digital habits. Whether it’s providing seamless donation experiences or offering engaging content, charities understand that a mobile-friendly website is essential for attracting and retaining Gen Z donors. Brook is a sexual health and wellness charity aimed at helping young adults make safe and informed choices. Its mobile site prioritises accessibility and user experience to create a welcoming online environment for Gen Z supporters, making it easy to search for the information they need or have it sourced for them by the website’s chatbot. From its no-nonsense navigation such as a ‘Quick Search’ bar at the top of its home page to a scrollable ‘help & advice’ tool with an intuitive information architecture, Brook is embracing technology to create convenient and reliable online experiences that resonate with Gen Z audiences.

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We hope to inspire other charities to embrace innovative strategies for engaging Gen Z audiences by showcasing these real-life examples. By understanding and adapting to the preferences of this generation, charities can build meaningful connections and create lasting impact together. Check back soon for our third and final part of the Gen Z series.