After reading the opening paragraph on KANTER’S POSTEROUS I couldn’t help but think “isn’t that what most people look for when approached to give?” 

The para is “While the Millennial generation has often been characterized as wired always online, or texting addicts, the Millennial Donor Report discovers  that the key motivators to giving are trust, being asked by a friend, and how much they care about the cause.” 

What makes millenials (those born between 1980 and 2000) any different to anyone else? Sure, they’re more tech savvy (perhaps), they’re early adopters (perhaps) – but are they any different in how and why they give to you and me? 

Background on the survey to give some perspective 


“For the 2011 Millennial Donor survey, Achieve and Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) partnered with seven institutions. Each institution was provided a unique online survey link and the survey questions were identical across all partner institutions. The online survey was targeted at partner constituents between the ages of 20-35. The final findings from this survey represent responses from 2,953 survey participants age 20-35. Survey responses received from individuals outside the specified age category where segmented and omitted from the final survey findings and results. 

“Survey partner institutions included four higher education institutions (university/college), one national fraternal organization, one arts organization, and one human service organization. All partner institutions promoted the survey online, in e-newsletters, through social media, and print between January 1, 2011, and February 28, 2011. The survey link was deactivated March 1, 2011. All survey data was compiled and analyzed in aggregate form.” 

I’m wondering too if some of the survey data is skewed by the demographics of the respondents. Just take a look at “93% of surveyed Millennials gave to nonprofit organizations in 2010” to see what I mean. 

If the survey population had been representative of the community at large I’m sure the figure would be different. 93% of the millennials I know don’t give to charity, it would be more like 40%. 

Another interesting stat from the survey is that “79% of respondents volunteered for organizations in 2010, with the primary obstacle to volunteering being a lack of time, which was noted by 85% of participants who did not volunteer in 2010. 45% of the non-volunteers said they simply weren’t asked to volunteer.” 

Again, I’d doubt that anywhere near 79% of the general millennial population volunteer. 

Here’s another titbit which to me goes further to show that the data is skewed as it’s not representative “Overall, the survey respondents are generous: 93% of them donated to nonprofit organizations in 2010, with 21% of them giving $1,000 or more over the course of the year, and another 16% giving between $500 and $1,000.” 

Sure the survey does give some interesting data, such as:

Not guessing how millenialls like to give “Millennials’ giving showed a preference for personal, traditional requests over any single technological approach. Fifty-seven percent of respondents gave in response to a personal ask and 30% gave after receiving a letter via the mail, compared to the 49% that gave online and the 25% that gave via email. However, this doesn’t necessarily reflect how they prefer to give.”


Source: Millennial Giving Report

It seems as though the survey group are still traditional in the way they like to know and how the like to be approached about giving.

We all know that with an aging population baby boomers may not be able to continue giving in the same way they have – and that we need to be attracting “millennials” now, but we need more accurate information as to their giving patterns, what they need to know and how they want to give.

Read the full report yourself and see what you think, is it accurate – quite likely, is it representative, not likely.

If there is some other data available that’s more representative I’d be keen to see it, and am sure many others will too.

© Nikita Buida | Dreamstime.com




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