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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Why Millennials Need to Start Thinking About Philanthropy

Written by our friend Bruna Nessif.

The label of “millennial” can sometimes seem like a curse. We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t a slight twinge of shame for being associated as a millennial, due to the onslaught of criticism we receive, but we’d also be lying if we didn’t acknowledge the impact that we’ve cultivated as a generation.

It’s no surprise that we live in a time where those before us find solace in talking down to millennials. We’re often called entitled and spoiled. We’re told that we don’t know the value of work ethic and have no regard when it comes to putting in the time and effort to earn our place.

Sure, you’re always going to have your pick of the bunch that confirm these opinions, but for the most part, millennials are being targeted because they’ve found the courage to trek uncharted territory when it comes to both their personal and professional lives. We’re not doing it like it’s always been done, because we have the resources to try something new. So why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?

Furthermore, we are more connected to everyone else on the globe more than ever before.

One of the biggest things in our arsenal is the boom of the Internet. Specifically, social media. We literally have the world at our fingertips, and as anyone who’s logged onto Twitter for a day can tell you, there’s room for massive impact. 

Some days, it’s clear that our gift of connection is being used for unbeneficial matters--Twitter wars, trolling, bullying, spreading unreliable stories. But we also have the opportunity to use it for monumental change, and we’ve taken note of this in many ways.

Regardless of dealing with less than desirable financial situations than Baby Boomers and Gen X, millennials are the most charitable generation to-date.

A Forbes article states: “In 2014, 84 percent of millennial employees gave to charity and 70 percent of them donated more than an hour to a charitable cause, according to the Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report: 2015 (download required). Sure, boomers and Gen Xers are giving more in terms of dollars ($732 and $1,212 per year, respectively), but at an average of $481 given each year, millennials are quickly gaining influence over the philanthropic space (source: The Next Generation of American Giving, 2018).”

Additionally, an article on The Street reports that “online giving increased 7.2 percent in 2016, and Millennials are playing an outsized role in changing how the U.S. donates. According to research firm Massolution, Millennials make up 33 percent of donations on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe or YouCaring. Also, as the Better Business Bureau's Give.org discovered, Millennials were the most likely (60 percent) of any generation to have donated to hurricane relief after Harvey, Irma and Maria last year, but also more likely (79 percent) to have researched hurricane charities than Generation X (59 percent) or Baby Boomers (56 percent).”

As millennials, it is our duty and our responsibility to acknowledge the philanthropic efforts that lay before us and grab them by the horns. What good does it do to blame the generations before us for leaving us in the state that we’re in if we’re not doing anything about it? What good does it do to just continue the cycle of being resentful and not effecting change?

We are a group of revolutionaries who understand that the future of our world is in our hands, now more than ever, and whether or not we have the funds to donate, we’re quick to find an alternative. We are starting to realize that philanthropic capital isn’t the only way, or even the best way, to effect change. We use our platforms to spread awareness. We use our voice to make sure we’re heard. And when necessary, we stand up and show up for those who are in need.

Because we are not just millennials. We are philanthropic millennials, who are tired of waiting for the world to change. We are becoming the change.

Written by out friend Bruna Nessif. Bruna Nessif, an advocate for personal development & a self-proclaimed hopeful romantic, is the author of Let That Shit Go: A Journey to Forgiveness, Healing & Understanding Love and founder of the website The Problem With Dating, a multimedia platform that provides entertaining yet thoughtful pieces about love, dating, self-reflection & spiritual growth. As a Lebanese woman, Bruna also feels strongly about addressing societal and psychological effects that occur for immigrants and their families. Her written work has been featured on multiple publications, including E! News, Playboy, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Bravo. She is currently enrolled in the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching to become a certified and accredited life coach for high conscious living in hopes of helping women tap into their full potential.

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