Millennials Have A Heart: Their Online Donations Prove It

Have you seen the stereotype of Millennials that reigns in certain political circles? They are depicted as pampered brats who frequently retreat to their “safe zones.”

Some Facebook friends think this is funny, but it’s hard to see how you can attract young people by displaying such scorn. And it’s far from the truth.  

For one thing, Millennials believe that private charities can do a better job than government in taking care of human needs, according to a survey commissioned by Dunham & Co. and conducted by Campbell Rinker. Political parties, take note.

Even better, they’re willing to back these beliefs with money. The sample included here donates an average of $580 per annum, compared to $799 for GenXers and $1,365 for Baby Boomers. And that sounds just about right, given their youth and career stage.

But here’s one caveat: For this study, Campbell Rinker surveyed 1,391 U.S. donors who had given at least $20 to a charity in the past year. Non-donors apparently were excluded.

That said, Millennials give an average of $416 to places of worship, and 22% plan to contribute even more. Next on their donation list -- way down the list -- is education: The average gift was $84. Of the Millennials surveyed, 25% attend religious services once a week or more, and in this they are outranked only nominally by the older generations. 

Now for the marketing part of this. Two-thirds said they expect to hear from charities they support via email at least once a month. Half said the same about direct mail. And a remarkable 81% don’t even mind being called by phone at least once a year. 

Overall, 51% have contributed through a Web site, and 37% have used a smartphone to achieve that. Moreover, 36% have been motivated to give by something they have seen on a Web site.

And many volunteer for charitable work. They averaged 40 hours over the past year, compared to 34 for GenXers and 41 for Baby Boomers.

Say what you want about them: they’re not hard-hearted. 

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