“We can’t give much, but we want to help.” — Gen Y

GenY Generation Y . . . what are they all about? Most people know they’re not like their older brother, Gen X, but beyond that Gen Y can be pretty elusive. The members of Gen Y are between 13 and 33 years old this year (1977-1997).  Here are a few of the things research is revealing about Gen Y as it relates to fundraising:

1. Socially Conscious As the children of Boomers (the first modern, socially conscious generation), Gen Y were taught social values early, and that they have the power and responsibility to make a difference. They have strong values, and they value political action. This is the very vocal youth contingent that helped put their first president in office! Many believe they will become the most generous generation, even more than their grandparents – the Busters.

2. Creative Givers Volunteering is at an ALL TIME high among Gen Y. They create exceptionally unique ways of giving back, often centered on the socially based human needs of the individual. They don’t feel they need to go big to matter, but embrace the concept of micro giving – making the world better, one person at a time.

3.  When the Spirit Moves = Mobile Giving According to a YouthBeat Report, 84% of teens own their own cell phone. Combine that with an impulsive generation that gives when the spirit moves them, and you have an easy and instant way for Gen Y to become donors. Gen Y are very sensitive to waste. Text donations save trees and minimize administrative costs, so a higher percentage of their gift goes to the cause. The small, set donation amount doesn’t feel like an imposition and puts giving within the reach of even high school allowances. It also gives nonprofits the opportunity to cultivate a relationship before the Gen Y donor has a larger disposable income — which is a good strategy for creating long-term Gen Y donors.