The newest wave of young billionaires is beginning to shake up the way philanthropy works. Many of them are finding ways to make philanthropy more hands-on and transparent, and are devoting their time and skills in a way previous generations hadn’t. These trends will likely only continue over time, which could potentially change the way philanthropy works. As the older generation exits and this younger generation enters, things could change drastically, but likely for the better.
By 2020, millennials will be the largest demographic within the American workforce. Currently, they make up about one-third of it, with Gen X making up one-third and baby boomers at 25%. With 2020 approaching fast, millennials will soon begin to take over the workforce, becoming more than half of all of the workers put together. Millennials will slowly begin to have more disposable income as well as pay their student loans and develop more mature money spending habits that will last them into their later years. As more millennials begin to get involved, organizations must get to their level.
According to Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report: 2015, 84 percent of millennial employees gave to charity in 2014, with 70 percent of them donating more than an hour to a charitable cause. Baby boomers and Gen X are currently still in the lead in terms of giving dollars, but millennials are fast on their heels at an average of $481 given each year. It seems that generosity is the main reason as to why these numbers are fast increasing, as millennials earn less than those who came before them, typically have student debt, and are far away from owning a car or a home yet continue to give more and more. The number of charitable donations millennials make will likely increase even more as more of them enter the workforce, inevitably doubling what they currently are.
Millennials are currently about to receive a $30 trillion wealth transfer, a larger wealth transfer than the country has ever experienced. Many believe this may be a boon for nonprofits that could last many years, possibly decades. This can only happen if nonprofits are willing to meet the younger audience halfway of course. The importance of the millennial generation cannot be understated, especially with the knowledge that the cast majority of them are already giving a generous amount. While this younger generation may be giving less than those before them, there are many more millennials donating overall, and nonprofits need to understand this if they want to see success.