Millennials are not only the most populous generation, they are also the most misunderstood. Commonly viewed as lazy and self-indulgent, Millennials seem to have a rather negative reputation.
But, this generation is actually hard-working and charitable, having proven themselves to be quite innovative in the ways they incorporate philanthropy into their daily lives. Many nonprofits have benefitted from Millennials’ creativity and generosity.
Below, we’ve dispelled three myths about Millennial donors and suggested ways nonprofits can engage them.
1. Millennials don’t care about charitable giving. FALSE!
Millennials have proven themselves to be a group that values philanthropy and wants to see threads of it in most aspects of their lives. A 2011 Deloitte Impact Survey showed that Millennials place a high premium on employers’ corporate social responsibility (CSR). Workplace volunteer programs can affect employees’ happiness and productivity at work. The 2014 Millennial Impact Report said that over 50% of Millennials were influenced to take a job by a potential employer’s CSR, and 87% of Millennial employees donated money through a workplace giving program. Obviously, Millennials do care about charitable giving!
Organizations can take advantage of this information by striking a partnership with a business and developing a strategic relationship with its employees. Find ways that Millennials can donate their skills to your organization, and they might even be more motivated to donate money later.
2. Millennials are too impulsive to dedicate themselves to a cause. FALSE!
Being the first generation to grow up in a digital culture, with so much accessible in the palms of their hands, Millennials are used to finding what they need with just a few taps and a couple of swipes. But, this doesn’t mean that they’re so impulsive that they can’t or don’t want to dedicate themselves to causes they care about. On the contrary, recent studies, such as the 2015 Millennial Impact Report and a 2017 report from Dunham+Company, show that Millennials are highly motivated to volunteer and donate money.
Organizations should take into account Millennials’ digital prowess and social concern, and engage them where they spend a lot of their time: online. Attract donations by speaking Millennials’ language: set up online giving options, so that when Millennials find you online, they can act on inspiration, click your online giving button and make their donation.
3. Millennials are self-centered. FALSE!
Millennials are actually quite a giving generation, not just with their dollars but with their time, too. Dunham+Company’s study showed that Millennials surpassed Gen Xers when it came to volunteerism, and they were nearly identical to Baby Boomers in the same category. The 2014 Millennial Impact Report showed that Millennials are highly motivated to volunteer through workplace volunteer programs, especially when they can leverage their professional skills for good.
More so than previous generations, Millennials don’t want to write a check and call it a day; they want a connection to the causes they serve. Far from being self-centered, Millennials want a close-up view of the impact organizations make, and they want to feel like they’re making a difference in the “big picture.” Organizations can engage Millennials by harnessing the power of social media and encouraging their Millennial supporters to be ambassadors of their mission.
As the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire, and Millennials enter the more lucrative parts of their careers, organizations have the opportunity to engage and benefit from a huge – and charitable – generation.
Now is the time to optimize the ways your organization accepts donations. If you haven’t already, establish and streamline your online giving options. Givelify can help.