Gen Zs and Millennials Unveil a New Era of Online Giving

TORONTO, December 12th, 2023 – Are future generations of Canadians becoming more generous? A new study released by PayPal Giving Fund Canada and AgentsC Inc. explores generosity between generations and offers a glimpse at emerging giving trends among Millennials and Gen Z. Insights reveal that 93 per cent of those surveyed from these generations plan to make a financial donation in the coming year, while significantly more (91%) Gen Z than Millennials plan to give back by volunteering.

‘The Future of Giving: Looking Beyond the Selfie’, polls Generation Z (ages 18 to 26), late Millennials (ages 27 to 33), and early Millennials (ages 34 to 42), to uncover new and emerging trends with these donor bases, their philanthropic behaviour, expectations from charities and how they view generosity. Of those surveyed, almost half of early Millennials (46%) prefer to give financially over volunteering their time, while Gen Zs respondents prefer to donate both their time and money equally (30% and 32% respectively) to support a cause.

“The need for philanthropy is stronger than ever with high cost of living, health problems, housing issues, political turmoil, and climate change. Charities need all the help they can get,” said Wen-Chih O’Connell, Executive Director, PayPal Giving Fund Canada. “We see a gap in the charitable sector between where and how Millennials and Gen Z donate versus fundraising channels that charities deploy. Insights from this report will help charities understand why it’s important to bridge the gap and how to do so.”

Giving Goes Digital
Both Gen Zs and Millennials are most likely to engage in acts of generosity online; among respondents who donated in 2022, almost half (48%) prefer to make financial donations online. A significant majority of Gen Z online donors (64%) prefer to use mobile phones compared to 19 per cent who prefer laptops. Social media channels such as Facebook (34%), Instagram (27%), and GoFundMe (18%) are the top platforms for these groups to give back, although Instagram is the most-used channel for Gen Z (46%). Gen Z is also much more likely to use TikTok (23%) than late (12%) and early (7%) Millennials.

Trust and Accountability Are Key
More than eight in ten (84%) Gen Z and Millennials surveyed express a high or somewhat high degree of trust in charities and non-profit organizations. This is driven by a sense of accountability, as 51 per cent report transparency about a non-profit’s finances or use of donations help to increase trust in charities.

Gen Z Interested in Giving Back By Volunteering More Than Millennials
While there are common behaviours across the generations, there are also distinct differences. Gen Z has a strong interest in volunteering and leadership roles such as serving on the board of a charitable and/or non-profit organization (51%), compared to late (38%) and early Millennials (30%). They are also more enthusiastic about starting their own charity, as seen in 34 per cent of Gen Z compared to late (25%) and early Millennials (17%). On the other hand, 49 per cent of late and 46 per cent of early Millennials prefer making a financial donation over volunteering.

“It is important to know not only how young people respond to opportunities to be generous, but also to understand how ethno-diverse people express philanthropy in their own unique ways,” says Olumide Akerewusi, Founder and CEO of AgentsC Inc. “We clearly see that among ethno-diverse groups, a variety of apps and online platforms are utilized when it comes to giving. This allows us to learn more about cultural philanthropic preferences in the future.”

How Charities, Fundraisers and Non-Profit Leaders Can Be Successful
For more information on how charities and non-profit organizations can unlock the potential of these generous donors, a list of tips can be found in the report which can be accessed here.

Survey Methodology
The Future of Giving: Looking Beyond the Selfie surveyed 1,002 Generation Z (20%), Late Millennials (30%), and Early Millennials (50%). Weighting by region, gender and age was applied to ensure the overall data reflects the composition of the Canadian population aged 18-42 based on Statistics Canada 2021 Census data. The survey was deployed between August 30 and September 13, 2023, to reach defined audiences.

About PayPal Giving Fund Canada
PayPal Giving Fund Canada is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency that enables digital fundraising to benefit Canadian charities, and whose mission is to make giving part of everyday life. PayPal Giving Fund integrates giving into online platforms that millions of people use each day, including PayPal, Facebook, Instagram, GoFundMe, Twitch, Humble Bundle, and others. PayPal Giving Fund receives donations and makes grants to donors' recommended charities, without charging donors or charities for its services.

About AgentsC
AgentsC Inc. is an international consulting company specializing in Fundraising, Philanthropy, and Social Change. The team offers smart change management solutions to socially and environmentally conscious organizations around the world. Drawing on the African tradition of Ubuntu (I am because we are), AgentsC is guided by our trademark principle, Equity Philanthropy™ – the belief that love of community, reciprocity and social justice form an essential alchemy for tackling the world’s biggest problems.

Media Contacts:
Pay Pal Giving Fund Canada: Malini Mitra

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