Stereotypes about millennials paint an entire generation as entitled and afraid of hard work, which may cause organizations to shy away from campaigning for donations from these young adults. However, it would be a mistake for companies to ignore this untapped market.
Despite the argument that the world left to millennials by previous generations is one that is economically unfair, millennials are still a generous generation. Millennials, born from approximately 1980 to 2000, will soon make the largest part of the American workforce, which will expand their buying power, and their philanthropic efforts don’t fall far behind. One survey found that 84% of this group has donated financially while 70% of millennials had given at least an hour to a charitable cause in 2014.
Baby Boomers and Generation X still donate more money per year than millennials donate, $732 and $1,212, respectively, compared to $481; however, the younger generation still manages to donate an impressive amount of money compared to their college debt and when considering the fact that fewer members of this group have achieved enough financial security to own a home and car. This fact stands in opposition to the idea that millennials are an entitled lot. Organizations that rely on donations, whether monetary or voluntary, would be remiss to overlook the time and money that millennials are so willing to offer despite the obstacles in their way.
However, companies must understand what motivates millennials to be generous. For starters, they prefer to hear a story rather than just the facts. Where millennials may not be able to donate money, they can offer their time, and organizations can take advantage of this by pressing the urgency of moving now. Finally, it’s important that messaging is simple. Millennials receive thousands of messages every day, and overcomplicating things will cause information to become lost in the fray.
As mobile banking and technology has changed the face of philanthropy, millennials have increased their donations. And as Baby Boomers leave the workforce and millennials find more stability and increased wages, their ability to continue to donate their time and money will only increase. Organizations that understand this potential can take advantage of it now and continue to build loyalty with philanthropists in the future.