Learn more about how to optimize your managerial skills by one of the greatest managers, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Millennials. They’re the demographic every major brand, company, and organization wants to capture, but few can wrangle the seemingly unpredictable generation. Companies can’t keep them, they’re seen as privileged and entitled, and they expect to be recognized for just showing up for the job. Sure, these are all blanket-statements and assumptions, but these preconceived notions turn the wheel of the vehicle trying to catch up to their desired audience.
It’s no different for fundraisers.
Young people are working, and provided their finances in line, why shouldn’t they donate to your charitable cause? Although this may seem routine to you, this first foray into early adulthood is much different for them. Why should they be ready to buy a plate at that fundraiser or donate to a charitable cause? Why should they work that into their regular priorities of rent, student debt, and— if they’re lucky— their first mortgage?
Here’s the thing about them: millennials grew up in a unique time, during a huge overhaul in the way we exchange information. The internet, when first commercially introduced, allowed us to learn anything we wanted in mere seconds (well, with dial-up, it probably took a few minutes!). Computers allowed edits to be made in a flash. The digital frontier was, and still is, interactive. Virtually every cause and effect can be seen. They’re accustomed to this belief in life: “Every reaction that I have is going to have some kind of impact, otherwise it’s not going to be worth pursuing.”
When approaching a much younger crowd for donations, you need to make it about them. Plain and simple. Sure, some may be struggling to still get their financial footing, and that’s okay! After all, you can’t donate what you don’t have. But others are bit more well off. For this crowd, tapping into the pathos, the emotions, are what you need to work. Ask and try to answer questions such as “how will this donation help to make a difference in their lives?”.
Coming of age in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, Millennials are wary of where they place each dollar, evidenced by things such as student loans, decreasing rates of credit usage, and low participation in market trading.
They probably won’t mind helping out, they’ll just want to know why. And taking the time to personalize your approach could go a long way.
It may seem like a given that you should do your homework before putting down your hard-earned cash on a so-called sure thing, but oftentimes many people do not do this. Instead they usually take the lethargic approach and pick their investments based either by word of mouth or by reputation.
Whether you are investing in a friend’s company or in a stock of a company, it is absolutely vital that you do your due diligence and learn more about the organization and the opportunity before making such a commitment. That being said, making an investment is not an easy decision. When you buy equity from a company, you are not simply just getting a sheet of paper. Rather you are becoming part owner. For these reasons, it is important that you spend the time researching the background, goals, financial history, and future plan of the company you will be partnering with.
Imagine, however, if you did not do your homework. At one point, you could luck out and see a fruitful investment. However, at another point, you could see a lost. Regardless of the wins or loses, increasing your odds is always the more logical move. That is why I highly encourage you to analyze your decision before making that big financial leap.
Below, I have outlined a plan to help direct you in making a well-informed decision. This plan highlights various points you should consider researching to help you gage the company’s present status and future financial plans. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you are making the right decision. While there are no guarantees, the best thing that you can do is educating yourself in finding the best option.
Research the Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the most senior corporate administrator or executive in charge of managing the overall organization. Making sure there is a strong leader behind the company is something you want to take into consider. Start by picking his or her brain and asking a variety of questions. Try and see if the CEO is a strong representative for the company. If they are not, do not invest. If you think they are, dive deeper. Look for points that can help you analyze the direction and course the CEO wants to take the company in the next 5, 10, 20 years. Certain questions to ask yourself during your research are:
- What is the vision of the CEO of the company?
- What is the background and experience for the CEO?
- Do you share the same vision and goals of the CEO?
- What has the CEO done in his or her past or present work to lead the company to a bright future?
Research the Company’s Net Income, Revenue, and Cost
This is by far one of the most important steps you can take before making that financial commitment. Having a strong holistic view of the company’s finance is incredibly important for any investor. By doing your homework here, you will be able to feel safe and secure that your investment is something that can be fruitful and impactful. Start off by analyzing both the quarter and annual revenue. Revenue, by definition, is simply the raw amount of money the company made from salves of its products or services. If there are any gaps in the revenue, try asking what could have caused those changes. See also how the company was able to bounce back. Afterwards, look into their cost. Cost is the value of money that has been used to produce the company’s products or services. This can range from obligatory expenses like employee salaries or rent to miscellaneous expenses such as snacks or office supplies. Make sure that the company is wise with their money and they are not spending their money on frivolous items. Last but not least, gage the overall profit and profit margins the company makes quarterly and annually. In layman’s terms, this is basically the revenue minus the cost. See in addition any future strategies they are planning on incorporating to scale the business.
Analyze the Company’s Business Model
Once you have gained an understanding of the company’s finances to see if it is profitable or not, take a look into the company itself by reviewing their overall business model. A business model essentially breaks down the background, history, vision, goals, finances, and future plans that represents the company and its future. Similar to the CEO, you want to ask specific questions to make sure the company is moving in the right direction. See if you agree with their vision and goals and ask yourself if this is a company you want to invest in. If the answer is yes, then continue your research. If not, stop and look for a different opportunity.
Talk to a Financial Advisor
If you are still uncertain of making an investment even after doing your due-diligence on the company’s logistics, I would advise you to seek professional expertise on this situation. Try looking at various financial advisors who can help sort through the confusing jargon to see if this is a wise investment.