By Howard Cohen AND ALEX HARRIS
The Miami Herald.
If the millennial generation is going to outgrow the buzzword implications of its age bracket, as well as the “selfish” reputation, philanthropy is a pretty good way to start.
Millennials — generally considered anyone born after 1980 — can hardly be generalized. But research shows that the young people in this group like to donate their time and their money, instead of one or the other. And they’ll do it through social media, corralling friends and crowd-sourcing sites to raise millions for causes they’re passionate about — $5, $10, $25 at a time.
“For millennials, it’s about micro-giving and it’s not necessarily the amount they are contributing but the fact they do give,” said Matthew Beatty, director of communications for the Miami Foundation. “Look at the success of Kickstarter campaigns of people looking to raise money for disaster relief. It’s these $5 and $10 and $15 and $20 donations that are amassing to millions. They are no longer coming from traditional philanthropists, from the few donors writing relatively large checks. It’s this democratization of giving and everyone being part of that effort.”
The Miami Foundation knows a thing or two about this. Four years ago, the foundation created Give Miami Day, a 24-hour digital event where people can donate to their favorite charity with just a click. In 2012, Give Miami Day raised $1.2 million in 24 hours. Last year, that jumped to $5.2 million with more than 500 nonprofits participating.
Jaime Bayo, executive director of the newly minted Out Miami Foundation, called Give Miami Day a “digital flashmob.” He said the social component of crowdfunding pushes more people to donate.
“Philanthropy is in your inbox, it’s on your Facebook, it’s in your Twitter feed,” he said. “On all your digital platforms, you’re thinking about giving.”