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January 24, 2017
Pam Pugh

“Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future.”  Pastor and Author Andy Stanley

The future looks bright for giving
As I travel around the world and meet with young women, I’m excited about what I’m seeing. Their quest for purposeful and passionate giving is palpable. They have humanitarian hearts and a growing capacity to do something about it.

While it seems that each generation is worried about the one on its heels, I’m excited about this next generation.

In fact, I’ve found Millennials are global, wired, and fired up. Armed with belief, passion and a quest for truth, they are ready to make a difference in the world. Here’s why:

They can do anything, so they are trying all sorts of things. Most Millennials believe they can have an impact. For example: in a recent survey supported by The Case Foundation, 90% of respondents under age 36 believe that people like themselves can help make life better for others.1

And, because they are delaying marriage by almost a decade, Millennials have more time to invest in ‘do good’ ventures.
Passion isn’t a hobby, it’s daily life. If work doesn’t spark their passion, Millennials aren’t interested. Be it products or free time activities, “craft,” “authenticity,” and “values based experiences” are the key buzzwords. As they discover what breaks their heart, they engage creatively to do something about it, no matter the personal inconvenience or how big the problem is.

The world is at their fingertips, more so than earlier generations. Globally minded, the issues other cultures struggle with are part of their daily lives. Just as smart phones have brought global issues into the forefront of our daily lives, the images they see every day make global issues real and part of the daily conversation.

Social media helps this generation move in mass. Many will quickly join a cause. They can advocate fast by liking and sharing, and then give financially with a just few clicks. Giving applications are part of daily media engagement.

Peers are the modern day equivalent to family. Friends set the tenor of influence and their voices are most valued.

Authenticity is a non negotiable. Perhaps we are all hungry for truth and meaning but this generation will have it no other way. As the Edlemen Trust Index points out, trust has been declining over the last decade. Trust in social institutions or government to solve big problems is at an all time low.

The integrity gap has hurt our whole society. It’s felt most strongly in the Millennial generation where only 1 in 5 feel most people can be trusted.2   Many grew up without any teaching of absolute truth in their home, and yet over 50% indicate they are conservative in their values and desirous of authenticity and truth.3

The decline in trust, combined with the visibility of the need for change, causes Millennials to ask: “How can I make a difference?”

And this question is to philanthropy what gasoline is to a fire. That’s why the future for giving looks so bright.

[1] The 2016 Millenial Impact Report, Wave 1 Trends  www.the

[2] Pew Study “Millennials in Adulthood” indicated “… just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers.

[3] 2016 Millennial Report


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