The stigma that the work ethic of millennials is significantly lower than that of other generations is still believed by a number of people. However, to consider them a less motivated group is unfairly judging based on little information. With the start of the holiday season, young adults are seeking innovative ways to donate their money and time, thus shattering the unfavorable nickname of the “me generation,” and subsequently changing philanthropy.

Millennials have been giving in record numbers. In 2015, online donations rose by 9.2%, which can be tied to the constant use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It is important to note that online donations do not make up all proceeds given. The spike in numbers is, however, remarkable.

With the rise of social media and millennials’ involvement, it should come as no surprise that young adults find convenience in the ability to donate via the internet. Specific organizations or causes that they contribute to show who they are to their friends and family through their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profiles. Sharing what they care about to others is integral in their online personas, and what better way to do so than a social media platform that gives you a voice among billions of people?

By generating millions of shares through social media users, organizations and charities alike are able to vastly expand their reach. This can greatly increase the number of donors, as well as improve the online presence of any given organization.

Motivating millennials to donate involves a slightly different approach. Organizations that simply say who they work with rather than who they help will not attract a younger crowd. Young adults want to know where their donations are going, who they are actually helping, and the results that follow. Providing regular updates to those who have given their money or time to a certain cause allows them to see the difference they were able to make.

Some examples of extremely successful donations that owe an enormous amount of their success to social media include the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, No-Shave November, and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. By motivating millions of people around the world to take part in what could be considered social movements, these organizations were able to raise incredibly large amounts of money that went towards the cause that they described. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge involved raising awareness and funds to those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by participants having ice cold water dumped over their heads, and posting the videos to social media. No-Shave November sees millions of men posting their unique facial hair designs in order to raise awareness for several types of cancer. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes dedicates their efforts to ending sexual assault and gender violence by having male participants literally walk a mile in high heels; an event that obviously gains huge social media notariety.

 
Through these new and innovative ways of donating and raising awareness, millennials have increased charity numbers tenfold, and are changing the ways philanthropic organizations go about marketing.