Millennial philanthropists are breaking tradition, research finds


Alliance magazine


Millennial philanthropists are unafraid of breaking tradition to achieve social impact according to a new report, sponsored by French bank BNP Paribas.

The report, written by the Economist Intelligence Unit, is based on research and in-depth interviews with 15 philanthropy experts and millennial philanthropists around the world.

The report revealed that millennials are turning away from traditional non-profit organizations. Instead, they are supporting social entrepreneurship and for-profit organizations. They believe social entrepreneurship will be a more sustainable path to achieve their philanthropic ambitions.

In addition, the new generation no longer feels required to follow their family’s philanthropy traditions. Many millennials are looking to inject innovative and modern practices into their philanthropy. Some do this by creating their own independent structures. Others choose to simply implement modern innovations in achieving family goals.

It was also found that millennials are also far more global than past generations, both in terms of the causes they support and where those causes are. They seek to replicate successes across many places.

A key tool in the globalization of millennial philanthropy is social media. The report showed the new generation uses social media sites to promote causes, find grantees and donors, and to educate themselves and the public.

According to the findings, millennials make a greater use of impact investing and impact evaluation than past generations. In fact, they often blur the lines between their investment initiatives and philanthropic activities. They employ digital technologies to capture and monitor key performance indicators that measure the impact of their investments, such as IRIS Metrics, which measures the social, environmental, and financial performance of an investment.

Millennials are also opting for collaborative philanthropy, believing more effective results can be achieved if they connect with peers and co-investors through international and local networks. Their collaboration allows for faster discovery of new ideas and the best practices.

For the full report, see here.

Comments (1)

Jen Bokoff

This is in line with research we've done at Foundation Center about organized youth philanthropy. Check out the data and case studies at!

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