Charitable social media campaigns make 16-24 year-olds Britain's second highest donators

January 30, 2015

It seems that the younger generation of UK adults have been putting the selfless in selfie as social media campaigns have sparked a generous average of charitable contributions amongst 16-24’s. New research from Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, has found that of UK consumers who gave money to charity in a three month period*, it was those aged 16-24 who gave the second highest amount, on average donating £40. In comparison, those aged 35-54 gave the least at £33 and those aged over 55 came out as digging the deepest, donating £52 in a three month period.

Further to this, Mintel’s research found that it is younger consumers who are the most logged-on demographic when it comes to charitable giving. Whilst six in ten (59%) UK adults have not done anything related to supporting charities on the internet in the past year**, this drops to 46% amongst adults aged 16-24. In addition, almost a quarter (23%) of 16-24’s have ‘liked’ a charitable organisation page, for example on Facebook, compared to an overall average of 13%.

Young people are also considerably more likely to have donated via their mobile phones with 14% of 16-24-year-olds making a charitable contribution this way in the past year, compared with 8% on average.

Of UK consumers who gave money to charity in a three month period*, it was those aged 16-24 who gave the second highest amount

Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, said:

Charitable giving has been given a new life with the emergence of selfie fundraising on social networks, appealing to younger donors who have traditionally less actively engaged with charitable causes. Campaigns such as #nomakeupselfie and #IceBucketChallenge opened up new ways of soliciting for charitable donations, with participants feeling the urgency of making a contribution in order to be part of a good cause. The social campaigns and charity selfies also capitalise on the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) prevalent on social media, with participation driven further if someone is ‘nominated’ to take part.”

And it seems that charitable giving brings with it a heightened feel-good factor for younger consumers. Of those who have donated to charity in the past 12 months, almost a third (31%) of UK consumers aged 16-24 are motivated to donate money to charities as it makes them feel good about themselves, compared to an overall average of less than a quarter (23%). In addition, 23% of 16-24’s say they feel guilty if they don’t donate when someone asks them, compared to an average of just 12%.

Mintel’s research has found that younger consumers are also more likely to make contribution in order to be part of the good-will gang, with one in five (19%) saying they donate as they want to be a part of a community or cause, compared to just 9% of those aged 35-54. Further to this, 15% of 16-24’s donate to set an example for others compared to an average of 8%.

“The idea that good deeds should go unnoticed is being replaced by open declarations of donations to charities and fundraising campaigns started on the internet.” Ina continues.

When it comes to motivations for older consumers however, this group are more likely donate out of habit and to be motivated by an existing personal connection with the cause they are contributing to. Almost half (45%) of over 55’s who have donated to charity in the past year say they did so as they could relate to the charitable cause or it had some personal relevance to them, compared to an overall average of just over a third (35%). In addition, 30% of over-55’s say they made a contribution as it’s what they have always done, compared to an average of 25%.

“As one generation of donors replaces another, this means that charities will soon be confronted with a different reality, where they are no longer able to receive steady contributions from reliable donors doing so out of habit. This would mean that charitable organisations will need to work harder to understand how to connect with potential donors from younger generations and increase their participation.” Ina concludes.

Overall, three-quarters (76%) of Brits have donated money in the past year**, rising to 92% of women aged over 65. The top three ways UK consumers donated to charity in the past three months* were by shopping at charity shops (34%), donating in collection boxes in shops (34%) and street collections (27%).

*three months to July 2014

**12 months to July 2014

Press review copies of the Charitable Giving, UK 2014 report and interviews with the Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst, Ina Miskavets, are available on request from the press office.

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