January 25, 2015

Generations seen as equally generous

Counter to what many believe, younger people are just about as generous as older people, although their motivations for giving may differ, a new report says.

After controlling for factors like income, education and attendance at religious services, people across five generations give about the same amount, says the report by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and Campbell & Company.

"A lot of the members of the Millennial generation are still in school or have lower salaries because they're at the beginning of their careers, so this suggests that their giving may rise along with their earning power," Shaun Keister, annual giving consultant with Campbell & Company, says in a statement.

However, when members of the Millennial generation, defined as those born after 1981, give to charity, it tends to be because they have a "desire to make the world a better place to live."

Donors born between 1929 and 1945, on the other hand, are more likely to give in order to "provide services that government can't or won't."

That has an impact for how charities ask for funds from these donors, the report says.

Across all generations, people who regularly attend religious services at least once a year are more likely than others to contribute to church-related and secular causes, the study says.

But Millennials and Baby Boomers are less likely to support religious causes than are other donors.


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