Remember giving back as a kid?
Chances are you held a bake sale or a car wash with friends to raise money. In order to make sure you had a decent turnout, you made homemade signs and rode your bike around the neighborhood, plastering them to every telephone pole you passed. You’d hand out flyers in school and around the community and tell as many people by word-of-mouth to stop by and help a good cause.
Feeling a bit nostalgic and wondering how teens today (Gen Z) are giving back?
Generation Z may not be out on their bikes with posters but they are definitely giving back, and leveraging digital channels to make a big impact.
As the Chronicle of Philanthropy stated earlier this year, “these kids are savvy, bold, and eager to do good. Like it or not, they’re poised to shake up philanthropy.”
How does Gen Z give back? The ways are endless! Read on to find out and see how you can connect with Gen Z by caring too.
First, Who is Gen Z and why do they want to give back?
Generation Z (or Centennials, Founders, or Homelanders, depending on who you ask) is born between 1994 and 2009 and accounts for 27% of the world’s population.
Considered the extreme of Millennials in many of their habits, Gen Z is comprised of tech-savvy kids and teens who have grown up in a unique time. Gen Z knows nothing of a pre-digital world; life before the internet, touch screens and social media might as well have been the dark ages.
In addition to being the first ever digital natives, Gen Z-ers have grown up in a post-9/11 world and have seen the repercussions of the Great Recession. Their forms of entertainment are post-apocalyptic dystopian societies like The Hunger Games and Divergent. And while Gen Z may be more exposed to the harsh realities of the world due to being constantly connected to the internet via mobile devices, it has made them resilient; they don’t want to run from problems, they want to confront them, and ultimately fix them.
Gen Z loves giving back. They know society could use some improving and they’re up for the challenge. Gen Z is socially aware and wants to “do good.” In fact, when polled, 20% of teens and kids polled said they want to start a charity.
From social media campaigns to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Gen Z is leveraging digital channels to create change and they’re making a huge impact.
How Does Gen Z Give Back?
Gen Z is taking charity to a whole new level.
Teens and kids are going beyond the traditional lemonade stand, using their digital expertise to make a larger impact than previous generations have been able to. Whether they’re using online or mobile channels to raise money or using social media to spread the word about an event, Gen Z is committed to making a difference.
Here are just a few ways Gen Z is mixing up philanthropy.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small donations from a large number of people, usually via the internet. Gen Z is taking full-advantage of this unique opportunity to make their charitable work go that much further.
Using different platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, which can also be used for the entrepreneurial spirited, Gen Z-ers are raising money from all over the world.
Take Braeden Quinn Mannering for example. The 10 year old combined his passion to do good and technology to not only start his own nonprofit called “Brae’s Brown Bags” to help fight hunger. Since becoming one of the youngest nonprofit founders, Braeden has been to the White House where First Lady, Michelle Obama, commended him and gave him another challenge to bring more good to the world.
Of course Gen Z uses social media for fun but it is also a necessary form of communication. From a young age they have had access to expressing themselves, their interests and their causes in different ways on different channels. Having these platforms allow for Generation Z to spread word of their good deeds faster and to a much larger audience than generations past.
Their constant connection to the world also allows for Gen Z to be exposed to more issues, which has created a particularly empathetic generation. They want to reach out and help. And their tech-savvy ways allow for them to make big impacts.
Show you care and engage Gen Z
Speaking of social media, it’s a great opportunity for brands and marketers to connect and engage Gen Z. But don’t just put on a front. Gen Z-ers are expert BS-detectors and will smell your phoniness from a mile away.
Generation Z is more likely to award you with their brand loyalty if your company is transparent and shows it cares as much about their passions and issues as they do.
So get involved. Find ways for your company to give back, whether it be by donating products or services, employee’s time, or maybe even teaming up with a Gen Z-er like Braeden.
If you use your brand influence for good, you’ll be building the foundation for Generation Z to become customers for a lifetime.