As marketers, we understand that millennials are somewhat self-involved, over-indulged, tech-savvy beings. What isn’t celebrated often enough is the time and money they give to the causes they care about. The 2015 Millennial Impact Project studied more than 35,000 millennials over seven years. The study revealed insights into how millennials connect, get involved and support causes.
It’s an important study because millennials will soon dominate businesses, organizations, and communities. If we understand what’s important to them, it will give us an indication of what we can expect in a future with millennials in leadership positions. And in the spirit of the Christmas holiday, they can inspire all of us to do more to help make the world a better place.
By the Numbers
According to the Millennial Impact Report, 84 percent of millennials made a charitable donation last year. Most donated between $100 and $249. The report also noted that, in addition to giving money, millennials give their time. Seventy percent of millennials spent at least an hour volunteering in 2014 and 37 percent volunteered up to 10 hours. Millenials also use their time away from work to give. Thirty-two percent used paid time off to volunteer and 16 percent used their unpaid time to volunteer.
Passion, peer influence, and employer or management involvement are the most compelling reasons for millennials to get involved with a cause. Twenty-nine percent volunteered because they were passionate about the cause. Twenty-five percent volunteered because they were able to use their skills to benefit the cause.
Baby boomers and Gen-Xers haven’t been as aggressive in their philanthropic endeavors. But his is good news for charitable organizations and causes that depend on donations. If we’re truly honest about giving, there’s often a sense of obligation that we have to give. Too often, we give simply because there is a tax deduction.
Social Media for Social Good
Non-profits use social media to secure donations and raise awareness. It’s been a major factor for the increased giving among millennials. The use of digital platforms makes it easy to spread the word about a charity or cause. Donations are easily solicited and giving networks are expanded exponentially. It creates a community for those interested in a particular cause and simplifies giving and communication about volunteer opportunities.
Get on Board with Giving
The project recommends using the information contained in the Millennial Impact Report to leverage the passions of millennial employees to identify causes that employees care about. This further promotes an interest in volunteerism. Offering short-term volunteer opportunities is just one of the ways employers can appeal to millennial workers. Employer matching for donations is another way.
In this season of giving, millennials are leading the call. It’s something every generation can do to make the season bright.