How Generation Y became the 2nd highest donors

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In this guest post, Rebecca Horsley, editor of Charity Digital News, looks at new research that shows changes to donation behaviour amongst different demographics, and highlights what this might be driven by.

Ice Bucket ChallengeNew research from Mintel shows that shareable social media campaigns have sparked a rise in charitable contributions amongst 16-24 year-olds.

Of UK donors who gave to charity in a 3-month period, 16-24 year olds gave the second highest amount, donating £40 on average. In comparison, 35-54 year olds gave the least (£33) and those aged 55+ dug deepest, donating £52.

The study also highlighted how almost a third (31%) of 16-24s were motivated to donate money to charities because it made them feel good about themselves, compared to an overall average of less than a quarter (23%).

“Charitable giving has been given a new life”

Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, explained these trends by saying, “Charitable giving has been given a new life with the emergence of selfie fundraising on social networks, appealing to younger donors who have traditionally less actively engaged with charitable causes.”

“Campaigns such as #nomakeupselfie and #IceBucketChallenge opened up new ways of soliciting for charitable donations, with participants feeling the urgency of making a contribution in order to be part of a good cause.”

The research stated that younger consumers were also more likely to contribute in order to be part of the ‘good-will gang’, with one in five (19%) saying they donate as they want to be a part of a community or cause, compared to just 9% of those aged 35-54.

“Charities will soon be confronted with a different reality”

“The idea that good deeds should go unnoticed is being replaced by open declarations of donations to charities and fundraising campaigns started on the internet”, says Ina.

“As one generation of donors replaces another, this means that charities will soon be confronted with a different reality, where they are no longer able to receive steady contributions from reliable donors doing so out of habit. This would mean that charitable organisations will need to work harder to understand how to connect with potential donors from younger generations and increase their participation.”



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