Next-Gen Giving Study Introduced for The Network

On Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, CFO Executive Vice-President Dr. Julie Leeth presented the findings of the Millennial Impact Report, an online survey of more than 6,500 people ages 20-35 about their giving habits and preferences, as well as their methods of gathering information and communicating with agencies. The goal? To shine a light on the road ahead, as one generation of philanthropists gives way to the more tech-savvy, mobile and impact-hungry members of Generation Y and the group commonly referred to as Millennials.

The report was presented to almost 50 members of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s The Network, an organization for young professionals under 40. In addition to the results of the study and pearls of wisdom from Leeth, a former high school administrator, attendees learned about the CFO’s innovative Mission-Related Investment program as well as the online crowdfunding website, causemomentum.org.

Highlights of the study included social media habits and preferences of Millennials that indicate they are hungry for stories about the successes their donations engender. A few takeaways: Facebook and a dynamic website are musts, landline phones are nonexistent, snail mail gets tossed and pledge campaigns are, most likely, dead in the water.

On the involvement side, young donors are hungry to get involved with nonprofits, not only as volunteers, but on boards as well, where they want their professional skills and personal talents to be put to good use.

“I was really kind of tickled about that, that you want what you do professionally to be valuable to a nonprofit’s operations and programs,” Leeth said. “And you all want to be recognized for the added value your skills bring to an organization.”

However, 40 percent of the survey respondents said they’d never been asked to be part of a nonprofit board, which Leeth said indicates a need on the part of established boards to open themselves to having younger members in their ranks… and then listening to their opinions. For Millennials, it’s important to get themselves out there.

“Don’t be afraid to let people know what sort of skills you can bring to their board table,” Leeth said.

She pointed to the Child Advocacy Council and Lost and Found, among others, as those doing a good job of incorporating young people into their organizations.

“I think there is the potential for a lot more of these, and you’re just the people to go out and do it.”

For more information on the Millennial Impact Report, or to inquire about a presentation, contact Julie Leeth at (417) 864-6199.

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