It’s no secret that Millennials and Gen Z have grown up during some of the nation’s most unfortunate economic times. According to Business Insider, after having lived through two recessions by the time the oldest Millennials reached aged 40, Millennials are one of the poorest generations in history with fewer savings and more debt than previous generations. However, despite significant student loan debt and little savings, Millennials are also among one of the most generous generations.
Giving During the Pandemic
According to Forbes, Millennials and Gen Z gave more donations during the pandemic than any other generation. CNBC reports that three out of every four Millennials sent financial aid to a nonprofit, friend, or family member since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofits include United Way, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society, which caters to an estimated 3,000 new cancer cases a year. After Millennials, Gen Z donated the second-highest amount to nonprofits at 66%.
Making Donations User-Friendly
Experts report that Gen Y and Z’s generous donations during the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t a one-time effort. Forbes reports that the two youngest generations are actually revolutionizing philanthropy and the way we donate to charities. Friends and family can send needed finances to others through online money lending platforms such as PayPal and Venmo, and social media websites such as Facebook have made it easier to donate to nonprofit organizations.
Because Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with technology, donating online and navigating these platforms comes easily. Data transmission and storage security are still crucial, though, which is why Millennials are also more likely to do their research on the types of charities they give to, according to Give.org. Approximately 79% of Millennials were more likely to research hurricane charities (79%) compared to baby boomers (56%).
Millennials have also spurred growth in sustainable energy investments. While natural gas is the second most heavily consumed energy source in the country, green energy is being increasingly advocated for, and one-third of Millennials exclusively use investments that take ESG factors into account.
Additionally, according to the Global Web Index, up to 40% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 (Generation Z) think donating to mental health awareness groups is essential followed closely by Millennials compared to the 24% of those between the ages of 55 and 64.
Forbes’ Joe Fisher suggests that the younger generation’s ease with technology and preference for philanthropy could suggest a future where nonprofits have a greater online presence. There’s a strong likelihood that Millennials and Gen Z could innovate the way we donate.
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