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Charities Risk Losing Trillions From Millennials

Sun Apr 25 2021

Why NonProfits need to engage with Millennials now to secure the next 30 years’ worth of donations

The NonProfit sector, according to a recent report called The Giving Needs of the Future Wealthy from charity thinktank The Beacon Collective, could be missing out on a share in trillions of pounds of inherited wealth from a ‘lost generation’ of Millennials, disconnected from the sector unless they can come together and find a way to connect with them.

The report has highlighted that many NonProfits see Millennials and their donation habits in a particular way (such as social activism and seeking to change global issues with their charitable giving) and struggle to get past those preconceptions to target them in their marketing with any other approach. Other preconceptions include that Millennials will only engage with charities through the use of technology such as apps on mobile devices or other innovations.


However, the report has found the opposite may be true, with many wealthy UK Millennials, feeling disconnected from charities… with many NonProfit marketing campaigns skipping the targeting of this generation completely.

The report goes on to say that many wealthy Millennials, when asked about their charitable giving habits, actually think about changing the lives of individuals before they consider changing the world, making no connection between their donations and social activism.

In fact, one respondent who took part in the research backing up the report said:

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I think we're quite a considerate household in terms of our footprint, and recycling, and trying to minimise waste… So, I hope we take it quite seriously. Black Lives Matter is something that we have been involved in, but, again, not something that I would, or have donated to.

The Giving Needs of the Future Wealthy report – Respondent

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They also see technology as an enabler of, not a substitute for, a real connection with a NonProfit.


The report finishes to say that that unless the Charitable Sector starts to connect with Millennials then it will miss out on a major source of donations in the coming years, with many Millennial’s in their mid-thirties, in well paying jobs, starting to inherit the wealth of previous generations.

It’s advice to NonProfits is that engaging with Millennials now, whilst they are still only ‘moderately wealthy’, will help them develop a suitable partnership with them that has the potential to become fruitful over time.


The research hers behind the report say the opportunity is huge, with an estimated £5.5 trillion set to change hands from the ‘baby boomer’ generation to millennials over the next thirty years… in the UK alone.

The reports also indicate that this generation would be likely to give at least three times as much to charity as the previous one is/has.


The report makes ten recommendations to help target Millennials now, which include:


  • Showing how solutions address causes, not symptoms
  • Avoiding jargon in a way that is relatable to millennials' experience
  • Embed giving in their workplace, lifestyle and at major moments in their life.
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Wealthy millennials are a critical part of a bright future for philanthropy in the UK. This research shows that fundraising organisations need to do more to understand their needs and set them on the path to a lifetime of giving.

Matthew Bowcock - Chair and Co-founder,  Beacon Collaborative

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Sun Apr 25 2021

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