Trends have been going on since the beginning of time — whether that be the clothes you wear, phones you purchase, or apps you download. The quick pace of technology has allowed millennials to catch onto trends in a way previous generations have not been able to before — quickly and with information to back it up. And the latest trend for millennials is giving both donations and volunteer hours to nonprofits like Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County. We’re exploring how the charitable giving of millennials impacts organizations like ours. 

Millennials are a generous generation

Snapchat, avocado toast, and the collective hate of skinny jeans aren’t the only things millennials have made trendy; they also donate to charity more than any other generation, despite being the least wealthy generation in the current workforce. Why are people ages 25-40, who are still most likely paying off hefty bills like student loans and mortgages, the generation that donates the most? It’s not because each person donates a large sum of money, it’s because a larger majority of millennials are giving every little bit they can. In Case Foundation’s 2014 Millennial Impact Report, 84% of their millennial employees donated to charity while Baby Boomers and Generation X gave significantly less. 

Why are millennials giving back?

The impact millennials have in giving all goes back to trends. It’s easy for them to give back by clicking a button on Twitter, swiping up on a charity’s Instagram story, or downloading Venmo or PayPal. Millennials know how to advocate for ideologies they believe in, even from the comfort of their couch. It’s trendy to repost a story on your Instagram about an organization or group of people who need financial support. Since millennials have made giving back a trend so early on in their life, it will become a habit for them to set aside some money each day, month, or year. Thus, the amount of money they donate is likely to increase once they make as much as the generations before them and/or have less bills to pay off.

Donating not just money but time

Despite millennials not being able to give the biggest dollar amount, they have also given their time by volunteering at charities in person in accordance to donating what money they can. Millennials are more likely to go out and volunteer at a charity in order to learn a new set of skills, meet people with similar values to them, or build up their portfolios. Millennials have become aware that in order to have new experiences, they have to go out and find them, and for a lot of millennials, it’s volunteering somewhere locally.

How to get involved with Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels in Hamilton County is a perfect place for millennials to donate and volunteer locally. Filling out a delivery driver application to bring meals to recipients is the charitable equivalent of being an uber driver — something millennials have grown quite accustomed to. You can drive around and listen to your favorite music while giving back to your neighbors who depend on your delivery. Serving with our fundraising events allows for you to involve friends, families, and neighbors in your work as well. We love that volunteering locally allows for community members to see the work they’re doing firsthand. 

If you are ready to get involved with Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County, we’d love to have you! We encourage you to fill out a volunteer application, donate now, or contact our office to learn more. Whether you’re a millennial or from another generation, we welcome volunteers and donors of every age!