A lot of judgement is thrown towards the millennial generation—especially when it comes to their finances and work ethic. However, one area in which their superiority cannot be denied is in the philanthropic arena. While they are not quite suited to be high-net-worth donors due to their financial dilemmas, the volume of donors and volunteers coming from their generation is noteworthy.
Consider this: in 2014 alone, 84% of millennial employees donated money to charities and 70% logged an hour or more of their time volunteering.
On average, baby boomers donate $732 and Gen Xers donate approximately $1,212 every year. Out of the three generations, millennials donate the least amount of money on average, about $481 per year, but they also have the least amount of disposable income. As they progress in their careers, millennials are expected to continue rapidly raising the amount of money they donate.
You might be wondering why millennials are quickly turning into the most charitable generation. It’s a fair question given the amount of stigma that surrounds them. However, when analyzing the various factors at play, it becomes clear as to why philanthropy is an important value for them.
Millennials have grown up, for the most part, in an online world. Social injustices and inequalities are more apparent to them than in any other generation due to social media and online content. It is easier than ever to share and spread the news, and with it the opportunity to give and create real change.
The digital culture has allowed millennials the ability to find connect with people and causes online and donate whatever they can to help out in the form of small donations. But as the statistics above show, these small donations add up and make a big difference to those that need them.
Due to the fact that millennials have become such prolific donors, the face of philanthropy is beginning to change. Organizations understand the importance of finding and connecting with millennials and have therefore begun to change the way they present themselves to the world.
The days of galas, events, and luncheons to secure donations are beginning to dwindle. Organizations have realized that the best way to find funding in the modern world is to utilize social media and the power of storytelling. Not only does an online presence allow them to reach donors immediately, it also saves them a ton of money internally since they no longer have to organize big events.
So, millennials may have their problems, but giving is not one of them. As they continue to occupy the workforce, the amount that they donate will increase exponentially, setting them up to be the most charitable generation in modern history.