How Do Millennials Give?

Understanding the Unique Ways this Generation Donates


The group of nearly 75 million Americans born between the early 1980’s and late 1990’s are known as Millennials. This tech-savvy group might not seem like the charitable type, but as it turns out they just give in different ways. According to an article in the Boston Globe, young donors want to be inspired, actively involved, and tend to give out of a sense of mission.

Although Millennials make up only 11 percent of total charitable giving, compared to 43 percent coming from Baby Boomers, an early engagement with them could pay off once they reach peak-earning potential. Some tactics being used to better engage Millennials in giving are “young professional” groups, social media campaigns, and having more youth-based fundraising events. This particular group also tends to not compartmentalize giving; instead they combine charitable gifts, volunteer time, and impact investments. 

One of the criticisms of Millennials has been whether or not driving awareness via social media—such as retweeting or sharing memes—is as valid a form of support as opening their wallets. After all, charitable causes can’t continue just by spreading knowledge. However, Jim Klocke of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network stays optimistic though: “For every 10 people who do that retweet, three of them are going to do something down the road. I think the engagement we’re seeing from Millennials, and the innovations, have the potential to take nonprofit support to greater levels that it’s ever been before.”



Photo credit: KIC Dublin via photopin (license)