Why Millennials Give

Why do Millennial donors give?  According to a new study just released by Achieve and Johnson, Grossnickle, and Associates, 3000 donors age 20-35 reported a preference to give to organizations with a compelling mission and in whom they trust.  Once they’ve made their decision to give, they prefer to make their gifts online.

A couple of observations.  First, the reasons why Millennials give (compelling mission and trust in the organization) appear strikingly similar to any other age group.  Human nature doesn’t really change.

Second, the fact that they prefer to make their gift online, does not answer the question of how they wish to be solicited.  In fact, 57% of the donors in the study gave in response to a personal solicitation.  As the study suggests, “personal relationship and human connections” are still important.  Even for the iPad set.

In a world full of digitized, non-physical content and contact, this study suggests that donors in our most tech savvy generation seek out more authentic, human-to-human engagements.  Technology should make giving easier for our donors – regardless of their age.  And technology will change and evolve, providing our donors with even more giving avenues in the future.

But, we should always remember that the vehicle a donor uses to make a gift is almost never the reason the donor has decided to give.   The reasons donors give, as this study suggests, don’t change nearly as quickly as the technology they use to make the gift.


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