Millennials and Philanthropy

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Millennials are changing everything. That seems to be the consensus amongst the generations that came before them. What’s up for debate, however, is whether the impact of these changes is ultimately positive or negative.

Now, I’m not well-versed in all of the millennial initiatives, nor do I wish to comment on any of the more controversial topics. What I do know about, and consequently what I’d like to discuss, is the millennial impact on philanthropy. This generation is almost certainly the catalyst for several positive transformations on the horizon. Here’s why.

Corporate Philanthropy

If there’s one thing we know about millennials thus far, it’s that they love to support a cause. It’s a concept that’s simple enough, and it’s one that they’ve carried with them across traditional philanthropic boundaries. It is no longer enough to be charitable on one’s own time. Now, many millennials are actively seeking career opportunities that allow them to make a difference.

Fortunately, many of them also realize that it is impossible for 100% of people to obtain a position saving the world. To help compensate for this fact, millennials have developed a special kind of brand consciousness. They are researching their future employers to determine profit allocation and demanding to know company stances on critical social issues.

Companies everywhere are responding in turn. They are developing and documenting corporate strategies and initiatives that address philanthropic topics. They are exhibiting a brand new level of transparency in an effort to attract millennial employees and consumers alike.

Philanthropic Ability

The number of millennials in the workforce is going to increase. In fact, “Millennials will be the largest demographic in the American workforce by 2020.” Why is this important? Essentially it is going to shift the income status quo.

An already socially conscious generation is going to have the opportunity to step into positions vacated by retirees. These positions (ideally) come with better pay, better benefits, and an entirely new level of stability for a population in desperate want of just that. Experts predict that, as the generation finds their footing, they are likely to contribute to the causes they care about.

The Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report claims that “In 2014, 84 percent of millennial employees gave to charity and 70 percent of them donated more than an hour to a charitable cause.” These percentages are uniquely high considering the low wages and student loan debt plaguing these individuals. We can only expect that as their wages increase and their debt dwindles, contribution and volunteering percentages will rise.



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Starting a business from the ground up can be difficult, to say the least. Website costs, advertisement fees, legal fees and even rent are just a few of the myriad of potential starting costs involved with building a start-up from scratch. Regardless of what kind of enterprise you are looking to start, without a decent amount of capital to draw from, fundraising will be one of the first major steps in getting your company off the ground. Raising the necessary capital to get your small business up and running is essential. Luckily; however, with today’s technology, there are a few more options at the prospective business owner’s disposal than ever before. Additionally, the tried and true methods are always solid options, especially if one is not particularly experienced in using the Internet. With that, here are four good options to raise capital for a small business in the 21st Century.

Personal Savings

Perhaps among the most common and certainly most obvious, a reasonable amount of one’s own savings is always a great source of startup capital. Investors, while they are backing a company, they are also investing in the person who they feel they can trust and, frankly, whom they respect. Devoting one’s personal finances to his or her business venture is always something that will catch the eyes of potential investors because it clearly demonstrates one’s commitment.


Loans from banks or other investment firms are great sources of capital for your small business. Depending on your credit profile and the collateral you can offer, small-business loans can sometimes offer great deals and incentives. When attempting to earn an investment of a decent amount from any source, it is imperative that you either practice and perfect your sales pitch (selling yourself, your brand and your idea) or find someone who is good at this and can do it for you.


Most people have heard of Kickstarter, but there are many other reputable platforms for Crowdfunding that you should look into. Take a look at this list.


Many entities, ranging from startup companies to small-scale inventors, are starting to issue new cryptocurrency tokens that are tied to a specific product or venture. Investors can simply buy a certain amount of these tokens and watch their value increase or decrease accordingly. This way, investors can see their return on investment immediately and in real-time.


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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more respected by customers, news media outlets, and stakeholders than ever before; in today’s world of widespread green-minded initiatives, electric cars, recycled goods, and global civic-mindedness, consumers regularly choose businesses that give back to the world and its people far more frequently than their selfish corporate counterparts.

For this logic-loaded reason and countless others, giving back as a business is essential to well-oiled performance. Check out these reasons that support civic-minded policies.

Young, talented workers are willing to take pay cuts to work for responsible companies

Recent research suggests that a whopping three-quarters – that’s 75 percent – of millennials would take pay cuts just to be employed by businesses with solid corporate social responsibility policies. While millennials regularly catch flak for being their forward-minded, globally-oriented selves, the global workforce isn’t getting any younger; as time marches onwards, millennials and constituents of the similarly-minded Generation Z continue to fill the figurative gas tank of corporations’ collective and individual payrolls.

Companies that require mandatory volunteer work from employees see immediate boosts to workers’ efforts

According to a 2010 poll conducted by PsychCentral, one of the Internet’s longest-running and most-trusted outlets of information related to mental health disorders and their treatments, United States citizens who volunteered their time and effort to good causes benefited in several ways:

  • Two-thirds of people polled reported that they felt as if their physical health had immediately improved following their participation in volunteer work.
  • Over 70 percent of respondents claimed that they were graced by reduced stress in their daily lives.
  • Nearly 90 percent of those volunteers shared that their overall happiness levels had risen both immediately after volunteering and for weeks after offering their help to the civic-minded causes they contributed to.

Peer-reviewed entries into the academic world’s most prominent psychological journals widely suggest a positive correlation between workplace productivity and employees’ average happiness levels.

Why not require just one day’s worth of volunteering out of employees? Calling off work for that day would arguably be a solid investment.

What goes around comes around

Giving back to non-profit organizations and local communities – even if no other benefits are garnered from such civic-minded corporate policies – is likely to generate positive karma. People, organizations, and governments on the receiving end of such assistance are more likely to do business with an entity that gives back.


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Angel investors usually invest in innovative entrepreneurs and promising small startup companies. Although early investors in a startup company tend to be close friends and family members, professional and everyday investors are often willing to invest seed capital in promising companies that are likely to attract additional investment. Angel investors are a good source of one-time capital infusions to help launch or maintain the financial stability of a fledgling company.

Seed Capital

Angel investors typically take a long-term approach to investing by providing favorable interest rates on capital loans. This allows aspiring entrepreneurs to focus on the development of a product or service. Unlike traditional lenders and venture capitalists, angel investors focus on the future prospects of a startup company rather than existing income and assets. Angel investors focus on helping entrepreneurs succeed in exchange for an ownership stake, convertible debt or company equity. An angel investor may be identified by any of the following terms:

  • Informal investors
  • Angel funders
  • Private investors
  • Seed investors
  • Business angels

The angel investing concept actually began on Broadway. Wealthy patrons of the arts invested in promising theatrical productions. Now affluent angel investors employ a variety of financial vehicles to pool capital and inject money into innovative companies, including investment networks and online crowdfunding platforms. Angel investors are required to meet the Securities and Exchange Commission’s accreditation standards. SEC standards require a minimum annual income of $200,000 and a minimum net worth of $1 million to become an angel investor.

Angel Investing

Angel investing has accelerated in recent years. Widely publicized success stories such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Uber have propelled angel investing to unimagined heights.

Outsized Returns

Although angel investors may be hoping for outsized returns, most experienced angels are searching for entrepreneurial passion, dedication, concept quality, market opportunity, potential growth and personal integrity. Angel investors typically invest between $25,000 and $100,000. A clearly defined business plan and initial signs of success are important aspects of attracting angel investment capital. Intellectual property rights and the development of innovative technologies are especially attractive.

Angels are looking for a reasonable company valuation, favorable terms and the prospect of raising additional capital.

From the standpoint of an aspiring entrepreneur, raising capital is time-consuming and demanding. Angel investors are seeking answers to fundamental financial questions. The amount of capital to be raised, detailed financial projections and the anticipated monthly financial burn rate are only the beginning of what will be necessary to attract angel investors and the crucial seed capital that aspiring startup companies require.