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United Way Blog

3 Ways Millennials are Changing the World of Giving

The world of giving is changing rapidly. People are giving in different ways and for different reasons and at the forefront of this transformation are Millennials.

Here are three ways that Millennials are shaping and changing charity:

  • We are giving on different platforms. 77% of silent generation donate to charity through check, while 84% of Millennial donations are made online. In fact, 62% of Millennials are open to making a donation on their mobile phone. We see it in our work here at United Way where we have seen increases in website donations, and as donors are now contributing to United Way through text message and donating cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
  • We’re motivated by different messages. Older generations were motivated by household brand name and low overhead. Millennials want to see direct impact. Both groups are essentially asking for the same thing though - that the charity they support is trustworthy and uses their money wisely. The difference is in which number is king (overhead percent versus service units).
  • We like giving our voices and time in addition to our money. Many donors enjoy giving more than just money. They donate their time and talents to help nonprofits meet huge business needs and provide clients with loving, personal care. Millennials also see their personal networks and their voice as a donation of equal value. It's why peer-to-peer fundraising is becoming so crucial, as 50% of Millennials are willing to share on their social media about a charity they support, as opposed to 38% of Baby Boomers.

The landscape is changing fast to accommodate a new generation of donors. The uncertainty that accompanies change is always scary, but there are huge reasons to be hopeful. The generation of Millennials was the hardest hit by recession and joblessness, yet 60% still give an average of $481/year to charity.

It's why we’re so excited to be mobilizing young people through Student United Ways, Young Leader Societies and United Way LINC. We hope you can join us today on Giving Tuesday and beyond.