How Millennials and Gen Z Are Changing Philanthropy

pexels-photo-1438072As Millennials and Gen Z continue to change the workforce, the economy, technology and consumerism, we did some digging to find out how they are also changing philanthropy. Because these generations are impacting our society in such dramatic ways, it’s important to know how they are affecting the nonprofit industry.

In short, Millennials and Gen Z are changing philanthropy in huge ways. From the way they make decisions about the causes that they donate to, to how they donate – nonprofits are finding it necessary to revamp their donor communications and fundraising tactics in order to meet the needs of these younger, tech-savvy, socially conscious generations.

Here are some of the trends that have been uncovered surrounding Millennials and Gen Z and their impact on philanthropy:

  • These generations give almost exclusively online. This shouldn’t be a surprise given how much time Millennials and Gen Z-ers spend on their phones. Because of this, nonprofits are now putting more emphasis on providing ways for donors to give online – whether from their website, social media or other platforms that make it quick and efficient.
  • They are giving smaller amounts of money but giving more consistently. It’s no secret that Millennials are overrun with debt – more so than any other generation. However, they are still one of the most generous generations ever, and they accomplish this by giving small gifts frequently.
  • Because money is often tight or tied up in other things (*cough* student loans *cough*), many Millennials and Gen Z are volunteering. These generations are extremely active in their communities and engaged in the causes they care about.
  • According to Classy, Gen Z has already cultivated some interesting stats: They have found that 26 percent of those between the ages of 16 and 19 volunteer; 60 percent want the work that they do to make a difference; 75 percent are worried about the planet; 32 percent of Gen Z donate their own money; 50 percent are looking for a job in volunteering; and 10 percent want to start their own nonprofit.
  • Because Millennials and Gen Z grew up in a world overrun with security and privacy issues (think phishing and hacking), these generations often have a harder time trusting major institutions. Because of this, their time, money and talents often go to smaller nonprofits and nonprofits that meet their need for transparency.
  • Social media is the key to many of these generations’ giving decisions. They are no longer giving to big, popular organizations just because they are big and popular. Millennials and Gen Z have access to a wealth of information because of their connectivity and, instead, rely on their friends' and families’ recommendations for reputable organizations to donate to, as well as the organization’s presence on social media. Exposure based on friend and family recommendations is valued more than the organization’s size.

These audiences are now crucial to your fundraising efforts, and because of this it is important to know how to engage them. By recognizing how they give, why they give and where they give, nonprofits can adequately communicate with Millennials and Gen Z to make sure that your organization is taking their values into account. These are the current and next generations of donors – how are you inspiring them to take action?