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Is there a generational gap when donating to charity?

By Team Maanch  |  
December 15, 2021  |  
4 minutes read

“Out with the old, in with the new!?” 

The younger generation is taking on new ways to donate money to charity compared to their elders. Some of the biggest differences in regards to giving come from varying demographics. As a result of the rise in people’s awareness of global issues and the need for third sector interventions to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, young people are revolutionising giving. As such, a generational gap is emerging in giving trends and altruistic motivations. This trend has also been accompanied by the rise of technology. Technology has had a crucial impact on both the increased awareness of global issues and filling the gaps in the third sector. It has allowed for new solutions to emerge, focused on leveraging technology to better measure, manage, understand and report on philanthropy’s true impact. At Maanch, we pride ourselves on our tech-focused approach to answer the third market needs and facilitate giving for all generations. 

How do the younger generations support charities?

Research has shown that this generation is more likely to see charitable giving as an important part of dealing with systemic issues. This coupled with the rise of ‘social consciousness’ has played a massive role in the increasing generational gap. Older generations want to address the basic needs of communities, whereas younger people want to focus not only on communities, but on making the world a better place. In fact, the growing role of technology in philanthropy has increased donors’ trust in giving to charities. These donors are willing to invest because they trust that the donated money is going somewhere good and creating tangible impact. Nonetheless, some research has also shown that younger wealthy donors do not see giving as a part of their core identity. This is mostly due to the fact that younger generations do not think of donations as the only way to support charities. They see volunteering as more valuable than a financial contribution and prefer being directly engaged and in contact with projects they support. In addition, younger donors tend to focus their giving on fewer causes as they are more invested in those they choose to support. The younger generation is thus interested in a more hands on approach, seeking new ways to give to society. 

How do older generations support charities?

Baby boomers and older donors tend to have a thought-out philanthropic strategy, spending time researching and carefully choosing the causes they wish to support. In contrast, younger donors make more ad-hoc charitable donations, being more influenced by their peers and the media. This explains why young donors respond faster to emergency and crisis situations. For example, during the pandemic, the 18-34 year olds responded the fastest to the crisis, however the highest growth in giving came from 24-44 year olds. 

This is not to say that one generation is doing “better” than the other. It’s important to note that the younger generation is not necessarily more knowledgeable about the complexities and workings of the charity ecosystem

Accelerating Philanthropic Impact across Generations

At Maanch, we wish to help our donor community understand the complexities of the nonprofit world. For example, empowering the older generations, who are still influential donors, and bringing them along in this technology revolution in philanthropy. Technology is at the heart of our offerings; we hope to accelerate philanthropic impact and both increase and engage donors through our innovative giving solutions. To learn more about what routes you could explore in your philanthropic journey, take our Funder Questionnaire today

Blog by Maanch team member Sarah Georg


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