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: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “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.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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