One of the most influential generations ever, Millennials have changed the way of the world. They’re not slowing down, especially when it comes to giving back.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up alongside corporate social responsibility (CSR), and time and again, studies have shown they’re passionate about causes and motivated to connect, get involved and contribute to the greater good.
At the end of 2015, Millennials exceeded Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, and now make up the largest percentage of the professional workforce.
This optimistic and innovative generation was born into a technology-driven world where tasks are completed more efficiently and where social networks connect individuals across the world. With their grasp of social media and its limitless potential, their power to be a voice for causes and shape social trends is enormous.
Recent Trends from The 2015 Millennial Impact Report
- Eighty-four percent of employed Millennials made a charitable donation in 2015.
- Millennials regard their resources, such as time, networks and money, as having equal values, resulting in individuals often going beyond monetary donations as a way to become personally invested in a cause.
- Millennials prefer technology to find volunteer opportunities or donate online.
- When inspired, Millennials share in micro ways, from small donations to short volunteer stints.
- Peer influence plays an important part in motivating Millennials to volunteer, donate and raise funds for causes they care about.
- Millennials are most likely to get involved with causes when organizations offer a range of volunteer opportunities, from short- to long-term projects, especially those that allow them to lend their knowledge and expertise.
- Millennials give to make an impact. They want their contributions to have tangible results and know exactly who and how they helped.
Millennials certainly are making an impact in many ways, including starting their own fundraising campaigns to help others on crowdfunding sites like YouCaring, volunteering with local nonprofits as individuals and as companies, and donating to various charities.
For nonprofits, it’s vital to find new and creative ways to engage them.
Getting Millennials Involved
1. The Power of Peers
As the Millennial Impact Report revealed, Millennials are influenced by the decisions and actions of their peers, especially in the workforce. In fact, 65 percent of employed Millennials said they would be more likely to volunteer if their colleagues also participated. Nonprofits should consider this when seeking Millennial involvement. For example, a nonprofit could encourage group fundraising activities as a way to get an entire office to get involved. Millennials would view this as an opportunity for teambuilding while simultaneously giving back.
2. Stay Transparent
Millennials want transparency and feedback when it comes to trusting a nonprofit, and they want to see tangible results in order to measure their contribution. Nonprofits should aim to be clear in communications by outlining how donations are being utilized. When fundraising on YouCaring, that means outlining where the funds will go in the campaign story and updating the campaign page with progress reports.
3. Establish Emotional Ties
A Millennial’s philanthropic endeavors aren’t fueled by big incentives. Instead, they become involved in nonprofits, both inside and outside of work, for mostly altruistic intentions. In fact, they desire to establish connections with the causes they become involved with. Nonprofits would do well to focus on highlighting the emotional aspects of volunteering rather than providing incentives. For instance, a nonprofit can provide evidence of their success in the form of appealing and intimate narratives. Success stories can be powerful sources of persuasion for the generation that that wants to invest in causes that produce visible and lasting change.
4. New Types of Resources
According to the Millennial Impact Report, 77 percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to volunteer when their personal skill set served to benefit the cause itself. This further reflects the generation’s hands-on approach to philanthropy. Nonprofits should consider asking Millennials to pledge their time by contributing their knowledge and expertise for certain projects related to the cause or to teach a set of skills as a way to raise funds. Millenials prefer experiences to products, so providing them an opportunity to develop meaningful memories through teaching could be a great way for nonprofits to engage Millennials in a cause for the long run.
Boarding for Good: One Great Way Millennials Are Using YouCaring
To pay tribute to his brother, best friend, and role model, who died of leukemia a few years ago, Jason Sherman took on quite a challenge with his friend Tommy Nisenson. They skateboarded about 400 miles from New York City to New Hampshire in an effort to raise funds for the Eric Sherman Memorial Scholarship Fund. Jason wanted to show that his brother Eric still has a positive impact on others. The money raised goes toward scholarships for other young boys to attend the William Lawrence Camp where Eric, Corey, and Matthew went during their childhood summers. Ambitious and optimistic, Jason and Tommy prove that Millenials are hands-on when it comes to philanthropy.
Elite Daily published a documentary video on the campaign in December 2015.
Stay tuned for our blog series, Millennials Making an Impact, which will profile several other great ways Millennials are using YouCaring to connect, get involved and fundraise for good.
Is there a cause that’s close to your heart? Start your free YouCaring fundraiser today.