How Millennials Are Changing the Face of Philanthropy

They’re not just writing checks, they are getting involved. If you want millennial money, ignite their passion first.

Source: www.barrons.com

This is what the future of philanthropy looks like. Instead of writing a check, one Saturday you’ll find yourself in rubber boots and gloves on the beach, armed to pick up Styrofoam cups with like-minded neighbors involved with Surfrider Foundation, a national group that counts on active local chapters across the country to pick up beach trash, test water quality and to fight for the health of coastlines and ocean waters.

Or maybe you’d rather come up with a wacky fundraising campaign to raise money for students and schools across the globe via Pencils of Promise. If your effort raises at least $35,000, the group will dedicate a school to you or a loved one. One of the group’s suggestions: Jump out of a plane! And ask friends, families and acquaintances to goad you on with their donations.

Unlike big, established organizations like the American Cancer Society or United Way, the focus of these newer nonprofits is giving donors and volunteers a chance to be directly involved and assured that their dollars are making a direct contribution to a cause. Their strategy is more likely to prevail because it speaks to the leanings of an upcoming generation of donors and volunteers who show a predilection for wanting to help.

That’s a key conclusion of five years of research into the beliefs and attitudes of more than 75,000 millennials by Achieve, a cause-focused research and marketing agency, in partnership with The Case Foundation, a group that works to spur social change.

This desire to be directly involved in giving doesn’t mean the end of traditional nonprofit organizations, which are proven problem-solvers. But to be successful, nonprofits will have to find a way to connect with you more effectively and to show that what they are doing makes a real difference. Historically, nonprofit organizations “were the gateway to do good,” says Derrick Feldmann, Achieve’s president. But millennials don’t look at institutions that way today, Feldmann says. They are more concerned with addressing issues that matter to them, in the most direct way possible, and the organization is simply a vehicle to make that happen.

Groups that can tap this passion will have a lot of resources at their disposal. Think about this. Of millennial-age employees surveyed by Achieve in 2015, 72% had volunteered in the past year, 84% gave to a nonprofit and 67% gave up to $499.

Education, health care and jobs/wages are key areas of interest. But millennial-age donors and volunteers are also likely to…[read the full article at www.barrons.com]