November 16, 2017

New Survey: Millennials are Raising the Next Philanthropic Superheroes

Millennial parents are more informed charitable donors, passing wise giving habits to their children

Arlington, VA − BBB's announced today new insights from its national survey highlighting generational differences in charitable giving habits. The findings, collected online from 1,004 American parents, show that millennials are the most likely to do background research on charities before donating. 

According to the survey, half of millennial parents always research charities before donating, compared to 37 percent of both Generation X and baby boomers, and 29 percent of the silent generation. But millennial parents are doing more than just modeling wise giving habits. The survey reports 61 percent of millennial parents have talked about charity with their children in the past year, and they are introducing their children to more types of charity than other parents. Millennials were most likely to talk with their young about disaster relief, animal protection, environmental, and health charities.

“Despite negative stereotypes about millennials,” said Art Taylor, President and CEO of BBB’s, “our survey research shows that savvy millennialsare raising the most charity-conscious generation in history. With American generosity reportedly in decline, charities can only hope millennials' children will take engagement and transparency to new heights."

In a time of declining trust—in banks, government, media, and nonprofits alike—millennials are taking matters into their own hands. The digital revolution has empowered donors to do their own research, reward trustworthy charities, and hold wrongdoers accountable. Millennial donors want to know, not just believe, that their dollars make a difference. Transparency is expected, and charities of the 21st century need to deliver by sharing information on their activities, finances, and governance with both donors and third-party charity monitors, such as BBB's, the only standards-based evaluator.

More highlights from the national survey on charitable giving include:

  • 49 percent of the conversations millennials have with their children are sparked by social media; compared to only 29 percent of Gen X conversations.  
  • Millennials were also most likely (60 percent) of any generation to have donated to hurricane relief after Harvey, Irma, and Maria. 
  • Millennials were far more likely (79 percent) to have researched hurricane relief charities before donating this hurricane season, compared to Gen X (59 percent) and baby boomers (56 percent). 
  • Midwesterners were far more likely (67 percent) to have talked with their child about charity than Westerners (38 percent). Sixty-two percent of Southerners and Northeasterners talked to their child about charity. 
  • Dads were more likely (66 percent) than moms (58 percent) to talk to their child about charity.
  • Men were also: Ten percent more likely than women (36 percent) to always research a charity before donating; 8 percent more likely to have donated to hurricane relief; and 10 percent more likely to have researched that hurricane relief charity before giving.

About BBB’s  BBB's, also known as BBB Wise Giving Alliance, is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally-soliciting charities through rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus—all reports are available at