Editor's Note: The Era Millennials
I am a creature of a habitual nature. Each day, I commute to this beautiful city of Philadelphia from my hometown, Wilmington, Del. And before wandering into my office each morning, I always—and I mean always—stop off to get a delicious, steaming hot cup of La Colombe coffee. It’s a dream. Once I’m at my desk, the first thing I do is read the news. And recently, I’ve been noticing a trend—and it’s becoming more and more evident.
Millennials. Apparently, they’re taking over the world. “3 Ways Forward-Thinking Companies Are Engaging Millennials,” “Millennials Have Already Changed the Workplace. Here’s How,” “New Poll Shows Millennials Prefer Companies That Give to Charity”—those are some of the headlines populating the search engines. But why?
Now that the Baby Boomer population is getting older (some in the early 70s now), the Millennial population is, too. In this era heavily reliant on digital technology, Millennials are a little more tech-savvy than the Baby Boomers. Millennials hold the nation’s largest living population, at over 75.4 million in 2016. They are estimated to peak at 81.1 million in 2036, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Millennials donate for societal change. Millennials are advocates for charitable giving through the multitude of online social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube. You name it; they’re all about it. Millennials share articles, videos and pictures about charities and causes that they are passionate about, and in turn, that motivates their family members, their friends, their acquaintances to give to the same charities and causes be-cause more often than not, they are interested and are passionate about the same things. It’s a domino effect that gets the word out more quickly than ever before.
Millennials are young, so they may not have a lot of money and might not give in large quantities. But they’re starting to get jobs and make more money! Millennials can be committed folks. They may not give a lot, but they will routinely give to causes they care about. According to the “2015 Millennial Impact Report,” 84 percent of Millennial employees made a charitable donation in 2014, 30 percent donated through an online-giving platform and 70 percent spent at least an hour volunteering.
Just last month, I read Jeremy Koch’s blog on how Millennials are changing marketing and fundraising. This is what he had to say about Millennials in nonprofits: “Engaging Millennials on social media is not only critical to keeping them as a member of your community of support, but it also encourages Millennials to spread the word about your organization. Millennials are more eager than other generations to share their opinions with their social networks. Give Millennials a positive experience and you will lay the foundation for bringing in their friends.”
I could’t agree more, Jeremy. Don’t overlook Millennials; they can lay the groundwork for bringing in fresh meat! While I may be a little biased because I, myself, am I Millennial—my 28th birthday is in October—I still believe that we’re changing the philanthropic landscape. We’re bringing in new ideas. We’re bringing in passion. We’re bringing in human connection. We are bringing in digital innovation. I’m proud to be a Millennial, but not just a Millennial; I’m proud to be here, in the nonprofit space, witnessing all of the great things each and every one of you are doing.
How is your organization revolutionizing the nonprofit space. I want to know! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: This article appeared in the May issue of NonProfit PRO. Click here to view the entire issue.