Charities seem to be cropping up all over the place. Because of this, it would be safe to assume that many people are donating to those charities, especially younger people, while more and more of them get into the workplace. However, Millennials—who make up about 25.9% of the world population—only add up to about 11% of those who donate. Meanwhile, Generation X donates roughly $732 to charities, and Baby Boomers give about $1,212. Is there a specific reason as to why Millennials are less likely to give to charities?
Giving to charities is not always the easiest for Millennials. This generation faces a 7.2% unemployment rate for people between the ages of 20 and 24 and an even higher unemployment rate for ages 18 and 19, coming in at a hefty 14.5%. College graduates have to worry about student loan debt on top of the unemployment rate, meaning they cannot afford to give to charity as the older generations can. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt in the last decade has quickly risen from around $510billion to nearly $1.4trillion, with 9.6% of that debt being past-due. These financial burdens and expectations are causing Americans to give less than they ever have.
Though Millennials are giving less, they are changing how the people donate to others. Crowdfunding has become a popular source of charitable donations, with sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring making up around 33% of Millennial donations. These sites have created donation platforms for hurricane relief, as with Hurricane Harvey, provide a space for people to raise funds for medical bills, and can help get someone the funds they need to get off the streets and into a home.
With a lack of cash at their disposal, Millennials have taken to donating their time instead of their money. The Millennial generation is far more likely to donate clothing, food supplies, or volunteer their time. In 2017 this was almost twice the amount of what they had done previously, going from 12% to 22%.
While Millennials have come far from where they started in terms of donating, there is still more they can do. Many organizations, employers, and their children can be affected by their approach, and quite a few incorporate charity, giving, and outreach in their companies, thus leaving an impactful outcome on the younger generations. We are starting to see a shift from monetary donations to the donation of time, energy, and compassion for those around us, showing that money is not the only way that people can help their communities and make a difference overall.