Why your charity needs to embrace Generation Z

Hey Fundraising Fans! We’ve got one of our favourite topics for you today; Generation Z and charity! If you’ve kept half an eye on the news this past year, you’re probably aware of the global climate strikes today’s young people have organised. There’s no denying, they’re a force to be reckoned with! But what else are they passionate about? Can they help your charity? Do they even want to?

Yes. Yes they can, and yes they do!

Let’s throw down some facts to get you excited about Generation Z!

Who are Generation Z?

Sometimes referred to as Post-Millennials, Digital Natives, Zoomers etc. Generation Z are those born in the late 90s and beyond, and in 2019 are generally aged between 7 and their early 20s. In the UK, this usually means they’ve been using digital technology since a young age, they’re social media natives and they’ve grown up with the power the internet.

All too often, we chat to charities that aren’t too fussed about engaging a younger audience. They say their fundraising audience and donors tend to be older, or they’re more interested in focusing on legacy donations, and younger people aren’t really their target audience. This is bananas. 

charities and generation z

Not only is ignoring Generation Z missing out on potential fundraising, but you’re also missing out on one of the most passionate, engaged and motivated audience segments in the sector.

Generation Z and the Charity Sector

Beth Kanter calls them “Philanthroteens” and for good reason, she says “they want to go out into the real world and do something.” And they’re already out there doing it!

  • Gen Zers gave around £2.2 billion to UK charities in 2017.

generation z teen charity workThat’s the cumulative donations of more than 8 million individual Gen Z donors. For context, 11 million Millennials (the biggest generation) donated £2.7 billion, and 9.9 million Baby Boomers donated £2.3 billion.

And that’s not all. The same study from Blackbaud also found that more than 40% of people born after 1981 plan to increase the amount they give to charity next year. That’s more than double that of any other generation!

  • 26% of UK/US teens have raised money for a cause
  • 32% have donated their own money or allowances.

…so far! Every day more young people are becoming old enough to open their first bank account, or ageing into the workforce. If current trends are anything to go by, this is just the beginning of what we’ll see this generation do.

And it’s not just fundraising. Does your organisation need volunteers? According to the Cassandra Report:

  • 39% of  UK 16-24 year-olds volunteer at least once a year
  • 24% volunteer on a regular monthly basis

FYI that’s about 3 million young people, giving up their free time to help causes like yours.

“If your organisation isn’t focusing on this group, now is the time to recognise just how important Gen Zers and Millennials are and will continue to be”.  – The Next Generation of UK Giving, by Blackbaud

Friends, Fam and Followers

One of the key things to keep in mind with Generation Z, is that they’re a very connected global generation.

The boom in social media and online communication has enabled them to form genuine connections and online friendships based upon common interests – regardless of geography. The peer group of Generation Z is a global one; and as you probably already know, peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most effective ways of raising money for charity.

This means that when a member of Generation Z fundraises for your charity online, they can potentially enlist sponsors anywhere in the world. A teen from Rochdale who wants to fundraise for your hospice can be sponsored not just by her parents, relatives and local school friends, but also by her online friends overseas.

This is never more obvious to us than when we launch gaming-for-good fundraising challenges. Platforms like Twitch and Mixer encourage these relationships, and we see our incredible fundraisers raising hundreds (and in some cases, thousands!) of pounds, almost exclusively from online friends and followers.

Teenage boys using phones. Generation z and connected giving.

So what do Generation Z Care About?

We already mentioned Generation Z’s well-publicised passion for saving the planet, which is great for environmental charities! Their identity as a fully-connected global generation also makes them much more likely to donate to overseas causes, and much less prone to the “only look after our own” mentality that these charities often come up against.

But what else do they care about?

The core value of Generation Z is equality

  • The majority of Generation Z are in support of social justice movements concerned with equality, such as Transgender rights, Feminism and Black Lives Matter.
  • They will boycott companies that harm the planet, or who they see as behaving unethically.
  • Charities related to health, animals, children and education are among the top causes that Gen Z donate their own money to.
  • They’re more likely to prioritise charities that help victims of crime and abuse than older generations are.

Which covers… pretty much everything, actually. Sure, they’re passionate about looking after the planet, but also all the people and animals that live on it too. This is an attitude we’ve seen time and time again, whether we’re out there geeking out with gamers at EGX or talking to our own Fundraisers over on Discord. They’re empathetic, they can see where the world needs changing, and they’re motivated enough to do something about it.

In a nutshell; whether your charity is concerned with helping people, animals or the environment, there’s an incredible audience within Generation Z just waiting for you to engage them!

teenage girls looking at a phone together. Generation Z are potential charity fundraisers.


P.S. You might be thinking we’ve made some pretty big claims in this post. Want to read more?
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