Are Millennials More Charitable?
Even though they don’t have much money to donate, millennials seem to be more charitable than any other generation. In addition to donating money, they give away goods and volunteer a considerable amount of their time for various philanthropic causes. But before diving deep into the stats and numbers, let’s first find out who these people are.
Any modern dictionary would refer to millennials as the people born between the early 1980s and 1990s. The Millennial Generation is also known as “Generation Y” because it follows Generation X.
Millennials are also sometimes called the Boomerang or Peter Pan Generation because of their tendency to go back to their parents when they experience financial difficulties, student loan debt, and other similar issues. These people are also characterized by delaying the start of their career or in starting a family.
Research shows that millennials care a lot about a work-life balance: they want flexible work schedules and they love traveling. There is another view of millennials that is not so flattering: millennials are selfish and not hard-working enough. This might seem a bit too harsh taking into account some other studies, which shed a more positive light on millennials, referring to them as self-confident, liberal, open to new ideas and new ways of living, supportive of the right of personal choices and equal rights for minorities, etc.
Another thing that somehow defines millennials is that they seem to be not very savvy at saving money. In fact, according to a recent survey, most millennials between 18 and 24 have less than $1K in their savings accounts.
On the other hand, according to another survey, 1 in 6 millennials (over the age of 23) has $100K or more in savings. So it turns out that younger millennials are less likely to save money than older ones. And some millennials continuously prove that they are great savers, while others can hardly make ends meet. What a contradiction, indeed!
But let’s face it – millennials do contribute a substantial amount to charities. They sometimes even excel over past generations. Let’s take a look at some stats:
The amount of money that U.S. families give to charity now is $872 on average as compared to nearly $1K, which was not so long ago. Despite this, online giving has increased (7.2% as of 2016), and millennials makeup a huge share of those online donations.
In fact, millennials are great supporters of crowdfunding sites, with 33% of all donations on these sites being made by them.
Note that millennials love making online donations via their mobile devices. A 2017 report found that 62% of millennials said they would prefer donating through their mobile phones.
Donations to hurricane funds
Millennials seem to care strongly about victims of natural disasters, and nowhere is this seen more than in their donations to hurricane victims. Following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, millennials exceeded all other generations in donating to charities raising money for the victims.
But note that its hard to fool millennials since they love doing online research. In fact, they are the most likely generation to research a charity before making a donation.
Alternative ways of donating
Apart from making monetary donations, many millennials are also eager to volunteer some of their time to a charity or donate food, clothes, or other goods. For example, according to research study, 44% of millennial respondents said they would give up their smartphones during December to raise money for a charity of their choice.
Additionally, Bankrate.com says that nearly 30% of millennials like making monetary donations. Also, 41% of them were more likely to donate clothes and other goods while 27% were more likely to donate their time and services for free to charities.
Making charity a lifestyle
Millennials not only donate to charities but also encourage charitable acts. They are more likely to work for a firm or organization that donates to charities. Also, millennials are more eager to buy from brands or recommend brands that give to charities.
Yet, another important thing to note is that millennials teach their children to be charitable, too. Most millennials (60%) talk to their children about charity.
All that said, it looks like millennials are in fact showing how they can make the greatest impact with very little money. Even though most young millennials might face financial problems, they are still charitable relative to all prior generations in modern history. Despite negative stereotypes of millennials being lazy or dependent, they are big givers and are making a positive impact with charitable organizations.