Millennial Entrepreneurs More Generous Than Older Entrepreneurs

Millennial Entrepreneurs More Generous Than Older Entrepreneurs

Millennial entrepreneurs tend to give and volunteer at higher levels than older entrepreneurs, a report from Fidelity Charitable finds.

According to the report, Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists (18 pages, PDF), younger entrepreneurs tend to have a different approach to business and philanthropy than those in Generation X and boomers, with more than 80 percent of millennial business owners saying that giving is a very important activity in their lives, compared to 57 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of boomers. In addition, nearly half of millennial entrepreneurs say charitable giving is a "critical piece" of who they are.

Based on a 2018 survey of three thousand adults in the United States, including more than seven hundred current or former business owners, the study found that the median annual donation among millennial business owners was $13,654 in 2017, more than twice that of Gen X ($6,200) and boomer ($6,192) entrepreneurs, and that 93 percent of millennials reported giving time as well as money in 2017, compared to 74 percent of boomers.

Looking deeper at where entrepreneurs' time and giving are focused, the study found that Gen Xers focused more on their local communities, with 90 percent valuing charities that benefit the area where they live, compared to 79 percent of boomers; that 85 percent of millennial-owned businesses have at least one corporate giving program, compared to 58 percent of Gen X-owned and 40 percent of boomer-owned businesses; and that while roughly three-quarters of all entrepreneurs hold securities in an investment account, millennials are more likely to use those accounts to fund their philanthropy.

"The philanthropic landscape is changing, and our research shows that millennial entrepreneurs are shaping a new way for charitable giving. Millennials want to feel a connection to causes they care about," said Fidelity Charitable president Pamela Norley. "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."