It’s no secret that Millennials are often harshly criticized and labeled as snowflakes, spoiled youngsters, etc. They are, of course, the generation of young people who were born between 1981 to 1996. In 2019, this would include the ages of 23 to 38.
It would be fair to say that each generation is shaped by demographics, historical events, and economic forces. Millennials hold a lot of weight if we look at the numbers. By 2020, this generation will become the largest demographic in the American workforce. That also means that when it comes to philanthropy, Millennials will comprise a major influence in this arena of giving back to others and reshaping the core of philanthropy.
High-net-worth donors will always define philanthropic success, but a new generation also brings with it new preferences and causes they have interest in and how they establish social change. Millennials have grown up with smartphones, being digitally-connected 24/7 and obsessed with social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. They can influence and activate others globally and within seconds.
Although many are saddled with college debt from student loans, these young people are donating money and their time to causes dear to their hearts. The Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report of 2015 showed that 84 percent of Millennial employees gave to charity, and 70 percent of them volunteered more than an hour to a charitable cause.
Financial experts are also looking ahead to when Millennials inherit money from their deceased parents. For example, it is estimated that an epic $30 trillion will be passed down from Baby Boomers to Generation X to Millennials over the next 30 years. Non-profit organizations stand to benefit from this incredible wealth transfer if they know how to meet this audience.
Connecting with Millennials is vital as marketing to this generation the right way could have a significant impact on philanthropic endeavors. One way is to build long-term relationships instead of looking for single donations, and appreciating the volunteer aspect of fundraising, crowdfunding or fieldwork. Reaching out on social media with “tweetable” and precise goals and messages are essential. Showing the urgency of one’s charitable mission is also effective.
Millennials are a progressive generation that will change the philanthropic world.