New Insights into Young Adults and Giving

New Insights into Young Adults and Giving


Lauren Vertigan, Fundraising Consultant at AskRIGHT, highlights the key insights of the latest research coming out of the United States into millennials and philanthropy, for a better understanding on how young adults like to be engaged and what influences their decision to donate.

This new research highlights the donor potential of millennials and the contributions they could make to non-profit organisations. Millennials are defined as generation born between the early 1980s and 2000. They are today’s young adults – aged between 15 and 35 years.

Young adults are often overlooked when it comes to their potential to give or volunteer.  This research challenges certain assumptions made about this generation.

Fundraisers will be particularly interested in these nine key insights into millennials and philanthropy:

1. They want (regular) updates

2. They prefer email

3. They give (and want to give more)

4. They are interested in monthly giving

5. They like matching donations

6. They want to volunteer (with peers)

7. They are willing to fundraise

8. They are heavily influenced by their peers

9. They have to trust the cause




Brady Josephson, a researcher involved in this study, made useful observations as to how millennials differ from other donors. Here is a summary of his ideas, click here to read the full article.

  1. Millennials are more active than other donors

  • Millennials tend to give more frequently, in small amounts, to more causes.
  • They want, and expect, more communication about their donation
  • They want opportunities to get involved with their chosen causes

Volunteering and network opportunities are a key way for engaging and retaining younger donors.

  1. Millennials are more peer driven than other donors

  • Millennials get information from their peers and they trust this information
  • They respond well to peer fundraising

Utilising networks and platforms young people engage in regularly will help non-profits to get their message out effectively and engage millennials.

  1. Millennials are more trust sensitive than other donors

  • Millennials value authenticity over content and blogs over traditional media
  • They are very loyal once you are able to connect with them, earn their attention and keep their trust.

Use respected institutions and supporters to demonstrate your organisation is trustworthy and regularly demonstrate your work, outcomes, and progress through frequent updates via multiple mediums.


While this research does not speak directly to the experience of young Australians and giving, it is a timely reminder of the donor potential of your organisation’s many and varied constituents. It is also a  reminder for the unique attributes and preferences of young adults which should be considered in fundraising strategies.


Are you trying to improve engagement with your young alumni or introduce more millennials to giving to your organisation?

Register now for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experienced fundraising consultants to identify how you can optimise your fundraising engagement with young adults.


Lauren Vertigan

Lauren Vertigan

Former Fundraising Consultant at AskRIGHT
Lauren has worked with numerous national, state and local organisations in Australia and overseas over the past decade, helping them to achieve their fundraising objectives.
Lauren Vertigan

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