DIGITAL MILLENNIALS Charitable Giving & Cause Marketing Presented by: Mila Goodman Director of Experience Strategy, RI:Lab insert client logo
Why Retailers Should Care : Understand specific attitudes, perceptions and sentiments of Millenials : Learn how Millenials align their spending with passion, community and brands : Recognize Millenials mistrust of brands and low recall of brand and charity tie-in awareness
Research Methodology An online discussion was hosted on 9/2/08 with 71 members. Summary of Questions : How often do you donate money to charitable organizations? (once a month, once a year, when the spirit moves you, etc) : What are some of your favorite charitable organizations? : What made you choose these organizations? : Once you’ve given to an organization, what would compel you to give again? (text alerts, email newsletters, learning about the impact of your donation, challenge from a friend, desire to help an organization reach its fundraising goal, etc) : Did you do any research on the organization before you gave money? If yes, how did you do the research? : How do you feel about brands that take up social causes? (ex. Coca-Cola supports the World Wildlife Fund to save the polar bears, Pantene supports Locks of Love to make wigs for cancer patients)
: Millennials have varying attitudes about charitable giving. Their life stage, involvement with religious organization and work programs are factors in defining their donation cadence.
: The are several unifying demands of Millennials
: Tell me how my contribution matters : Millennials want to know the impact of their donation. This is key for their satisfaction and future donations.
: Reason beyond marketing : Millennials are skeptical of brands taking up social causes and will most often question the true intent of the sponsoring company.
: Similar to other consumer segments, Millennials are more connected when giving to a charity to which they have a personal connection.
: Religion is viewed by Millennials as a charitable organization and can be a powerful force when it comes to charitable giving.
Overview of Millenials Donations * Yankelovich MONITOR, 2008/09 Donations per year are rising in the range of $100 + range. Millennials have most frequently donated to religious organizations over the past year. These are the top five types of organizations that Millennials have donated money to in the past year. ‘ 07 ‘ 08 Under $100 71% 66% $100-$499 17% 19% $500-$999 4% 7% $1,000-$4,999 2% 4% $5,000 or more 2% 1% Don’t Know/No Answer 4% 3% ‘ 07 ‘ 08 Religious 25% 35% Local Schools 19% 32% Federated Charities (e.g. United Way) 8% 17% Disaster Relief Agencies 9% 15% Human Services (e.g. Habitat for Humanity, big Brother/Big Sister) 10% 20%
* Bulletin Board participants are mostly comprised of “Spirit Givers” and those who are “Not There Yet”. About three quarters of those who participated in this dialogue fall into one of these two groups.
Most of the time, I just don’t have the money to donate to charities – but that will change when I am out of school and in a different life stage. I am also the most skeptical about brands that take up social causes, and I wonder, “what’s in it for them?” I make an effort to donate to my favorite charities on a regular basis. After all, isn’t that what being a good person is all about? Charitable giving is a way of life for me, and it’s usually something I don’t even have to think about. The money comes right out of my paycheck and is often tithed to the church or deposited directly to a charity like Unicef or the United Way. I am most likely to give to charities when I feel moved to do so. I am not on a schedule and my favorite charities may change from time to time. Spirit Givers Not There Yet Über Givers Consistent Givers Millenials Fall into 1 of 4 Groups Routine: driven by conscience Frequent: committed to giving Occasional: motivated by circumstance Rare: waiting for right opportunity
: Life Stage - still establishing themselves and in many cases are just starting to make their own money.
: Frequency of donations - Occasional
: Donate locally or to known organizations
: Three motivators
: Sponsoring a friend
: Have some extra $
: Spirit of Christmas
“ I usually only donate maybe once or twice a year mostly around Christmas..” “ I don't have a schedule, it really depends on the amount of work I get. I will give extra if I have a large paycheck and can afford to give.” “ Two major donations I made this year were for two people I knew, one running the Boston Marathon for Second Step and another family member walking in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Boston Light the Night.” * Yankelovich MONITOR, 2008/09
Spirit Givers favor charities with national awareness and local chapters.
Top charities mentioned were ASPCA, American Red Cross and Salvation Army.
They are most inspired when they believe that their contribution can make a difference in their own communities, or they are supporting something they feel truly passionate about.
They typically do not research the charity they are donating to.
“ I think helping a group make their fundraising goals possible would be a great motivator...being able to see how close they are to their goal would prompt me to give. I also would like to see where and what my money is going towards.”
Organizations that do a good job of communicating exactly where and how the donation is being used may compel Spirit Givers to give again.
Gear communication to be a positive acknowledgement of how the donated funds were used.
Avoid over-solicitation – this is a turn off to the Spirit Givers - especially if resources and money appear to be wasted.
Ask your Sprit Givers their preference of receiving communications and their desired frequency.
“ I once made the mistake of mailing in a donation, and now I get 5,000 letters, address labels, etc. per year soliciting me for further donation. The waste of paper alone makes me ill, and I will never again make an un-anonymous donation.”
Brand association with Charities is not a driver for buying decisions
While most Spirit Givers feel positively about brands that take up social causes, for many, it is unlikely that this affects their spending habits. Some are already jaded by corporate America, so companies need to walk the walk if they want these consumers to spend money on their products.
Being transparent will help ease skepticism
There is skepticism among Spirit Givers about what brands are doing with the money they get as it relates to charities, and the feeling that corporate America is still not doing enough when it comes to supporting social causes. Companies need to make it easy for these consumers see exactly how they are making a difference.
Spirit Givers do not have a high awareness of Brand/Charity relationships
When given the choice, two brands that are the same price and one is donating money towards a cause, Spirit Givers will certainly choose the brand with the cause. However, it is not clear from this discussion who is standing out in their minds when it comes to this type of marketing.
“ Glad they do. Doesn't make me like them over other brands, per say, but I'm glad some of the corporate evil of this country have decided to give back to the world they plundered.”
: Life Stage – Lack finances, require donations themselves or are focused on major life event (wedding).
: Frequency of donations - Rare
: Eventually plan on donating
: Three blockers
: Lack financial resources
: Focused on taking care of themselves
: Too skeptical to donate
“ I don't donate at all, I have an issue if all these charities most of the money is going into their pockets...so I'll keep mine thanks.” “ Overall I'm still early on in my financial life. I wanted to pay off school, I'm saving for a house and a wedding. I want to become financially stable (or at least complete those major milestones) before I start contributing.” “ I have to be completely and utterly honest when I say that I never donate money to charitable organizations. I have a very limited budget as a college student who only works part-time and has a phone bill, textbooks to buy, gas and toll to pay, etc. I wish I could help out but all I could do is donate time and even my time is very limited.” * Yankelovich MONITOR, 2008/09
Donate old clothes or items to The Salvation Army or Goodwill
Donate time to local charities (YMCAs or school-based/tutoring program)
Express a strong interest to donate financially in the future
Not There Yet Millennials seem committed to donating financially once their personal financial situation is stable.
Most skeptic group will require more than transparency
This group needs more convincing that their money will be used in a positive way.
Not There Yet: Most Cynical Group LIVE BY EXAMPLE “ They don't care about the cause, they just think people are more likely to use their services if they show us they "care". If they didn't advertise that they were supporting a cause, but were still willing to do so, and I was to find out about it from a completely unrelated source, I would be much less cynical.” JUST GIVING MONEY IS TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT! “ I'm not going to give a company extra support if it seems like they're just paying lip service to a social cause. If coca-cola is helping the polar bears, they better be doing a lot to try to reduce their plastic usage…Because that plastic comes from oil which comes from the regions where the bears live, etc. etc. It's important they're being conscious in a variety of ways, not just giving money because that's easy.” THE CHARITY SHOULD SPEAK FOR ITSELF “ If it's a good and reputable charity you will already know enough to give to it. I think it can be a good thing, so long as the charity is not overshadowed by the brand and its public relations. I will say that I hated the Lance Armstrong thing, but then is he really a brand?”
“ I donate money every week directly out of my paycheck to the local United Way. This gives me a chance to give back to my community in many ways because the United Way supports many different causes that effect the poor in the surrounding areas.” “ Typically once a month to charitable organizations and with every pay check to church.” * Yankelovich MONITOR, 2008/09
Routine, set % are donated to Religious organization, designated charity or both.
Gain their trust by communicating total efforts
: Uber Givers want to understand the total impact of a Brand’s social or sustainability programs versus a single campaign. They will not ignore standard business practices.
Win an Uber Giver, gain their loyalty
: Uber Givers tend to remain loyal to Brands that create an emotional connection.
“ I am Jewish and what we usually do is give 10 percent of our earnings to charity. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to give 10 percent off of your total pay check, you can pay your must pay bills and then what’s left over you give 10 percent of that…aside from the 10 percent I give here and there to needy people.” DONATING CLOSE TO HOME HAS ITS BENEFITS… “ [I do research] in the sense that I know people personally involved in the Organizations.”
“ I donate money to charities on a monthly basis. I also sponsor a child from a third world country and when I sell something on Ebay I donate part of the closing price to a charity of my choice.” “ I donate to about 2-3 charities monthly...I am compelled to give because of knowing what is going on in the world and the fact that I believe those causes are legitimate and my money is adding to helping some people that are in need.” * Yankelovich MONITOR, 2008/09
: Consistent Givers generally latch on to a select group of charities and focus their donations to them.
Open to Brands with social causes
: Perhaps the most optimistic group, Consistent Givers are open to Brands who take up social causes as long as their main motivation isn’t profit. Like other Millennials, they want alignment with their passion/concern for a particular charity.
When a Consistent Giver decides to donate to a new place, they most often check the Internet to make sure it is legit.
What Retailers Should Do : Gain a deeper understanding of your (target) customers and align attitudes and behavior of the Millenial Group that applies. : Develop meaningful partnerships that demonstrate a commitment to aiding and contributing to a particular organization. : Design cause related campaigns or programs that provide an ongoing way for your customers to understand their impact on the program as well as your total impact on that particular charity. : Apply key insights for any cause related campaign or partnership to foster community and build brand trust.
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