Young Consumers Are Donating To Causes—Here’s How

Young consumers are known for their passion to do good—so why have some non-profits struggled to reach this group? We asked 13-36-year-olds how they give back and what motivated them to do so…

Gen Z and Millennials haven’t taken a passive stance when it comes to making the world a better place. According to our YPulse survey on causes and activism, around five in six 13-36-year-olds tell us they hope to get involved in social good/charity work and 83% are empowered enough to believe they make a difference by getting involved. From youth-organized marches to online activism movements, these young generations continue to show that they will rally behind the causes that matter to them. And yet, some iconic nonprofits are struggling attracting cash and commitment from these young consumers. Case in point: The American Red Cross ran an operating deficit after its worst fundraising year in over a decade in 2015, according to Adweek. So, what’s the missing link?

Firstly, it’s important for charitable organizations to note that young generations are showing their support in ways that haven’t been seen before. Teens, for example, are limited by their financial abilities and are most often showing their support of social causes through social media—and we know now that sharing hashtags holds potentially tremendous power. Millennials, on the other hand, wield their financial and political power more actively, choosing to vote, boycotting brands that do not align with their beliefs, and making donations to show their support. In fact, the majority (59%) of 18-36-year-olds donated money to a charitable organization within the last year and it’s clear by their motivations that convenience played a factor. Online was the top way Millennials donated in the last year and the top reason was that an…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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