Digital world allows Millennials opportunity to give back

As stated in a previous post, Millennials are always looking for ways to be involved. One way this gets accomplished is by eliminating the middleman. Millennials have discovered, through sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, they can make an immediate impact. Now that we are living in a world where investigative journalism is no longer funded by corporate leaders in the news business, and where we have seen world news flounder, these sites provide Millennials an avenue to fund such projects.

Since 2009, crowd funded projects for journalism has increased from $49,000 to a staggering $1.7 million.

kickstarter graph

Most project funds went toward the travel required to get the journalists to where the news is happening. Despite more the millions of dollars being funded to journalistic opportunities on Kickstarter’s Web site, only 22 percent of the nearly 3,000 proposed projects received the requested funding. Still, this is a great opportunity for Millennials to give back.

So, how do marketers take advantage of this type of information? By giving back. It would be a simple tactic that would receive a high return in consumers’ eyes. It would be similar to the Toms project, where every pair of shoes sold, another pair goes to an underprivileged person in a developing country.

By funding such projects, a company could advertise that it has given back to the community through funding one or more of these campaigns. The recent announcement of the Late Show’s Stephen Colbert partnering with DonorsChoose generated tons of earned media for his television show.

With shows like his coveting the all-important Millennial demographic, this was a genius-marketing ploy. However, knowing what Colbert does for the community, this was not just a ploy on his part. It is that type of authenticity that Millennials want to follow and be associated with.


4 thoughts on “Digital world allows Millennials opportunity to give back

  1. Millennials: some marketers love them, other not so much. Traditional marketing tactics that may have been successful in the past are not working to reach the Millennial consumer. Brands have had to change their strategy and really start leveraging emerging media to reach Millennials. I love the Toms example because it shows they really understand their target audience of Millennials. It’s been found that “90 percent of millennials are likely to switch from one brand to another — even when price and quality are equal — if the second supports a cause.” ( Brands can use emerging media channels to share out their cause-marketing efforts and increase their brand equity with Millennial consumers.


  2. This post is right on target. Millennials always look for companies that support social causes that they are aware of. They will support these companies in an effort to support the causes. Another great company that has helped in this effort is eBay. Believe it or not eBay has built in functionalities that allow buyers and sellers to add dollar donations to the cause they choose when either checking out for purchases made and/or settling sellers fees. Another great way of being able to choose and still be supportive.


  3. The best way to get donations is to allow people to make them instantaneously. Social media, as you outlined, is one great way to do that. There is another way that has begun to become more popular, interactive billboards.

    These interactive billboards allow consumers to wipe their credit card in the billboard and actually see an example of how they have helped. It is an extremely powerful message, and it connects with the viewers. Personally I think at the root of it all, whether through social media or another outlet, for companies to get donations they have to strike an emotional chord with their target audience and make it easy for them to donate.


  4. I’m always intrigued by crowdfunding campaigns and was surprised by your post on the number that don’t actually get funded. It made me think of the viral one that a guy did to make the best potato salad and here are his results: 6,911 backers pledged $55,492 to help bring this project to life.

    Millennials also want to be a part of something and enjoy participating in things that are going viral. These people gladly paid a dollar just to say that they helped this guy make his potato salad.


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