March 21, 2014
In his cover story for the May 20, 2013, edition of TIME magazine, journalist Joel Stein declared that the millennial generation — those born between 1980 and 2000, sometimes known as Generation Y — “could be a great force for positive change.” Sure, he said, millennials are products of reality television and social media, sometimes prone to streaks of narcissism and materialism. They’ve also been influenced by recession, technology and terrorism, which makes them uniquely informed, pragmatic, resilient, optimistic and entrepreneurial.
All of this adds up to a generation that not only wants to change the world, but also has new ideas about how to do so. According to the “2013 Millennial Impact Report” — by Achieve, a creative agency for social causes — 83 percent of millennials made a financial gift to a charitable organization in 2012, and 52 percent said they would be interested in monthly giving.
Likewise, a 2013 survey by Christian relief organization World Vision found that 56 percent of men ages 18 to 34 have given a charitable gift, compared to 36 percent of men 35 and older.
Millennials’ approach to charitable giving is like that of no other generation. For them, the question isn’t if they will give, but rather why, how and to whom.