Millennials & the Future of Philanthropy

Despite what we hear about Millennials (in both positive and negative terms), there's no denying that they are a formidable consumer group, with habits and preferences unlike those of other generations. The things that stand out are their willingness to first adopt new technology, and, when it comes to philanthropy, they are set on making a difference.

Millennials strongly prefer brands they perceive to be cool as well as "useful", like those that stand for more than their bottom line. This also means that they would be more willing to buy from a company if their purchase supports a cause they care about, according to research conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Also, rather than making random or one-off donations, millennials are a generation that integrate the causes that matter to them into their daily routines and buying behaviors.

Companies and products that have engaged in this kind of self-directed giving include home goods retailer The Company Store, TOM’s shoes, Warby Parker eyewear and a host of others. With each purchase, customers can elect to donate to a specific cause. Even retail giants like Amazon Smile are in the game, offering socially conscious consumers the option to donate to charity with every online purchase they make.

It is interesting to see how retail, technology and philanthropy, including microgiving, are evolving to suit the needs of these digital natives. They are fast, savvy and want to do good, but on their own terms and in a way that aligns with their lifestyles.

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