According to The Next Generation of American Giving, in 2018 there were roughly 9.3 million Gen-Z donors, underscoring that 44% of Gen-Zers give to charity. Per capita, a Gen-Z donor gives $341 per year on average and gives to 4.6 charities per year. As a generation, Gen-Zers contribute 3.2 billion to charities per year.
Millennials are no longer the youngest givers. With many Gen-Zers still in school or in the earliest stages of life, they contributed just 2% of all dollars donated in 2018. While they are a smaller piece of the charitable giving pie, they are incredibly powerful when they decide to raise money by influencing others or harnessing digital technologies. Though their power as a philanthropic generation remains to be seen, when they do emerge as big givers, their behavior may reflect their distinct racial and ethnic diversity, their status as digital natives, and social cohesiveness.
In general, the younger you are, the more open you are to a wider range of solicitation channels. While digital natives like Gen-Zers are open to platforms like direct mail, they show a significantly higher preference to donate via websites (which 28% of Gen-Zers prefer) or social media (which 21% of Gen-Zers prefer). They are significantly more likely than older generations to give via social media or Text/SMS.
For the foreseeable future, your organization’s primary drivers of financial support may lie with Boomers and Gen-Xers. Near-term expectations for Gen-Z giving may fall short as these generations preoccupy themselves with education, making a living, and finding security in the financial market. Consider your investment in building relationships with Gen-Zers to be experimental, and likelier to produce long-term benefits with these givers. Your organization can take steps to commit to strategies like testing and segmentation while harnessing the platforms of choice for this generation, including social media, online giving, and crowdfunding.