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Unprecedented Research On Millennials Show They Are Eager To Connect, Get Involved & Give

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Today Achieve, in partnership with the Case Foundation, released a five-year retrospective on the Millennial Impact Project.

The project has input from over 75,000 millennials (born 1980 to 2000) to date, providing new insights into how this generation activates and engages with those causes that they care about. The report explores six new trends about the millennial generation’s engagement with causes:

FINDING 1: Intrinsic passion for a cause is what inspires millennials to act charitably.
FINDING 2: Millennials volunteer and give charitably in modest amounts to multiple nonprofits.
FINDING 3: Older and female millennials give more financial support than young and male millennials.
FINDING 4: Peer-to-peer engagement, including that which occurs in the workplace, is a critical influence on and vehicle through which millennials charitably give and volunteer.
FINDING 5: Opportunities to use and develop skills are prime motivators for philanthropic engagement by millennials.
FINDING 6: Millennials primarily use digital technology like websites, social media, mobile platforms and applications to access information about and donate to causes and nonprofits, yet each platform plays a distinct role.

From 2011 to 2016, the Millennial Impact Project has aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of millennial interests, engagements and motivations as they relate to causes, whether it’s by giving, volunteering, social media sharing, activism, employment or voting in a national election. The qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection applied reveal a socially-conscious generation that is passionate, well-informed and poised to engage when they care about an issue.

“Our research found digital technology is playing a vital role in how millennials engage with causes and influence each other to do so,” said Derrick Feldmann, Achieve president. “As crowdfunding campaigns like #GivingTuesday continue to grow, it’s critical that organisations alter their approaches so they can engage this generation’s inherent desire to do good.”

This report complements the ongoing 2016 Millennial Impact Report (Waves 1 and 2, already released), which seeks to uncover the ongoing trends related to this generation’s political ideologies and cause engagement. The final wave of survey data (Wave 3) is now being completed and will capture post-election day data associated with millennials’ politically-related behaviours, including Election Day voting activity and presidential candidate selection. Results from the third wave will be released in early 2017.
Early trends in Wave 1 and 2 identified before the election, include:

  • Education and health care remained the first and second highest social issues of interest for millennials, but employment/wages edged out the economy as the third-highest issue of interest.
  • More than a quarter of millennials surveyed did not want to vote for either major party candidate in November.
  • Millennials continue to have some level of trust in government to do what is right, though the majority don’t rate that trust as high.
  • Millennials still consider themselves activists, but without showing a strong affinity for direct action in support of or opposition to an issue.

“This unprecedented look at how the millennial generation thinks of and acts on charitable causes offers important insights into the actions and motivations of this growing and diverse generation,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation. “At the same time, initial research into millennials’ politically related behaviours identified new information that diverged from the pre-election expectations of many. The retrospective, in combination with early data from the 2016 Millennial Impact Report, are critical to understanding this growing and diverse generation and we look forward to the results of the next round of politically focused research so we can get a deeper understanding into millennial behaviour and attitudes at the voting booth and on social issues.

To learn more about the Millennial Impact Project and view all of the reports, including: the 2016 Millennial Impact Report; #GivingTuesday2015; the Millennial Impact Four-Year Summary; the Millennial Impact Top 100; and the Millennial Impact Benchmarks; visit themillennialimpact.com/research.

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