Millennial entrepreneurs are more highly engaged and committed to charitable giving and volunteerism than their baby boomer and Gen X peers, according to a study released this week by Fidelity Charitable.
Some 80% of millennial business owners said giving was a very important activity in their lives, compared with 57% of Gen Xers and 48% of boomers, and nearly half said charitable giving was a critical piece of their identities.
Fidelity Charitable noted that entrepreneurs tend to be generous with their time and money. The firm’s Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists study found that giving was integral to an entrepreneur’s identity, and their median household donation was 50% higher than that of their non-entrepreneur peers.
“We know that entrepreneurs are committed and effective philanthropists,” Fidelity Charitable’s president, Pamela Norley, said in a statement. “Regardless of generation, entrepreneurs will continue to be a driving force for philanthropy in the world.”
Artemis Strategy Group surveyed 3,000 adults in the U.S. in 2018, including 708 current or former business owners. The analysis reported here focused on a subset of 288 boomer, Gen X and millennial entrepreneurs whose businesses generate $1 million or more in annual revenue. These respondents claimed itemized charitable deductions on their tax returns.
The survey found that millennial business owners’ median annual donation in 2017 was $13,654, more than twice the median donation of Gen X and boomer business owners.
Millennial entrepreneurs were generous with both their money and time in 2017, with 93% reporting that they had volunteered, compared with 74% of boomers.
Young business owners in the survey were already planning their charitable legacies. Nearly two-thirds said they intended to leave money to charity in their wills, versus 46% of boomers.
The survey also found that millennials were likelier to be serial entrepreneurs. Six in 10 had founded more than one business, whereas about two-thirds of boomer entrepreneurs had founded only one.
“The philanthropic landscape is changing, and our research shows that millennial entrepreneurs are shaping a new way for charitable giving,” Norley said. “Millennials want to feel a connection to causes they care about.
“While these characteristics are not limited just to the entrepreneurs of the millennial generation, their practical impacts on philanthropy become more pronounced through the lens of entrepreneurship.”