Recently I was at a wedding rehearsal dinner where I met a few other people that knew the young couple. One woman came back from the bar with a beer and started talking about how great it is that the beer she selected gives a portion of their profits to veterans. I can't think of a better example of how millennials make thousands of small decisions every day based on how it helps others.
Millennials have recently been referred to as the “giving generation”. The name is given with good reason. According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, 84% of millennial employees made a charitable donation in 2014.
If millennials are truly the “me, me, me” generation as critics claim, then how can we explain why are they so prone to give and volunteer their time?
1. Millennials conveniently give from their iPhone
Giving has drastically changed from days past. Where spaghetti feeds and bake sales used to bring in cash donations, today we have the ability to give to specific causes worldwide in a matter of minutes from our phones.
Social media sites are frequently filled with GoFundMe pages for friends, family, and strangers. This has not only created the opportunity for givers to select specific and personal causes to support, but also the ability for those in need to raise funds significantly faster.
A simple visit to the App Store on your mobile device will show you dozens of options for giving through your phone. Further, many churches and nonprofits now have their own apps which include the option to give through the app.
2. Peer influence increases Millennial giving
Think of all of the charitable events you’ve heard about recently. From 5K races to polar plunge jumps, the opportunity to get involved in a giving experience is all around.
Millennials enjoy being a part of something bigger than themselves and doing so as part of a community. The best charitable organizations know this and encourage the creation of teams.
After all, to a millennial, what better way to show all of their social media followers how generous they are than to snap a selfie with their squad at a giving event.
3. Employers are encouraging millennial giving with donation matching
Have you ever looked at your company’s giving and benefits package? Many companies offer incentives to make contributions to non-profits, whether in the form of an employer match of employee donated dollars or a financial contribution to a non-profit for the number of hours an employee volunteers there.
The truth is really in the numbers. According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, employees of larger organizations that have employer promoted giving campaigns are more likely to give, with 38% of those gifts being matched by an employer.
Giving goes beyond the walls of the workplace though, with 78% of millennials who did not donate through their employers making a charitable donation on their own.
Support Your Favorite Causes
Now let’s look at how you contribute to the ‘Giving Generation’ title. Whether you prefer to donate via your employer, give on your phone, or be a part of a charitable event team, you have plenty of easy options to make the world around you better.
At a minimum, take this opportunity to look into any support your employer provides for your giving. Many employers provide a match up to a specified dollar amount or even pay the non-profit for hours you volunteer with them.
If you’ve already done this, consider how you can take one more step in your charitable giving. Is there an organization that needs your talents to advance? Maybe you would make a great mentor for a child in need or a supportive resource to a single mom or could offer valuable management insight on a nonprofit board.