Millennials – all 80 million of us – get a bad rap.
If you’re currently between the ages of 18-34, you’re a part of ‘Generation ME’ and collectively called lazy, narcissistic, and impatient. But other characteristics contradict these accusations to some degree: we’re also said to be open-minded, more supportive of equal rights, confident, upbeat, self-expressive, receptive to new ideas, and best of all – giving.
A study called The Millennial Impact reveals the “Me Generation” is actually extremely philanthropic. And this doesn’t include the “slacktivism” that exists on Facebook. But let’s be honest – it felt darn good to Like that dog photo and donate someone else’s money to rescue efforts.
Rather, we look outward rather than inward, relying on the influence of our peers when it comes to taking action. And once we’re inspired, the study reveals that we’ll go to great lengths to get family, friends and loved ones involved in our causes. Lazy? Selfish? Hardly!
In fact, millennials are compassionate and eager to commit their time, money and skills toward causes and organizations. The study revealed that 75% of millennials donated to charitable causes last year, while 63% gave time to volunteer. While millennials are more likely to donate in smaller amounts across several organizations, they are also apt to fundraise on behalf of nonprofits by soliciting support from friends and family. And when organizations offer volunteer opportunities with limited barriers to entry (remember, we’re impatient), millennials are most likely to give back through events or by freely offering their knowledge and expertise to their charity of choice.
Take The Salvation Army Twin Cities MOST Amazing Race for example, a fundraiser based off of the popular CBS show “Amazing Race,” where teams of two people run around the city making pit stops to complete various challenges. The goal of the race is to raise awareness and funds for The Salvation Army, and commitment and fundraising are prerequisites for competing.
In the end, 30 teams raised $72,921 for food and shelter programs of The Salvation Army through activities such as planking, Bollywood dancing, and plunging off a 25-foot-high platform. And you can be darn sure these events were well documented on participants’ Facebook and Instagram pages.
You often hear that good deeds are rooted in selfishness, and there may be a bit of truth to that, but that’s because giving back feels really, really good. And if you can brag about your good work on Instagram, filter and all, and maybe even inspire your friends to do the same, then what’s the problem?