Giving Compass' Take:
- Millennial philanthropists are upending traditional philanthropy by altering the way that they engage with nonprofit organizations and their missions.
- How can you learn from and engage with young philanthropists?
- Read this next-generation donor profile on Gabriela Citrone.
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As they become the dominant adults in society, millennials are interacting with nonprofits and causes totally differently than their predecessors.
Golf, chain restaurants, American cheese, and in-person conversations—that’s just the super short list of things millennials have been accused of ruining. Now there’s another entire sector to add to that list: traditional philanthropy.
A decade of research now shows that this generation—which now represents the largest group of adults—wants to help humanity and save the planet in ways that are far different from those inspired during the age of dial-up internet or rotary landlines. Given how many problems humanity has been unable to solve, that might be a very good thing.
The Case Foundation, a private nonprofit that works to inspire entrepreneurial and innovative ways to make social change, found three main factors affecting how millennials’ behavior differs from previous generations. They identify more directly with issues than the entrenched institutions. They believe a bunch of small and even virtual acts can add up to larger social shifts. And chief among those actions isn’t publicly volunteering or donating—not until the specific cause group earns their affiliation and respect.
The findings come from 10 years of the Millennial Impact Report, an annual survey of at least 3,000 millennials run by the Case Foundation to better understand how they engage with causes and seek to make social change.
It used to be that if you wanted to change the world, you backed one of several key cause groups synonymous with the topic area you were interested in. If you care about the environment, you’d give to Greenpeace. But millennials now have more ways to connect directly, be it through reading posts on social media, watching viral videos, or joining crowdfunding campaigns. As a result 90% of millennials say they’re driven to donate because of a “compelling mission or cause.” The exact organization doesn’t matter.
Read the full article about millennial donors by Ben Paynter at Fast Company.