When it comes to nonprofit fundraising, engaging your donors is essential. And that means donors from all walks of life⁠⁠⁠—young and old alike. Furthermore, understanding key generational differences is important for attracting, connecting with, and maintaining the support of your donor base. 

For example, Gen Z is likely becoming (or already is) a vital component of your nonprofit support system. Gen Z and young Millennials alike tend to be increasingly engaged with social causes⁠—both in terms of directly supporting the nonprofits making a difference and in advocating for the brands they support to do the same. 

In other words, Gen Z is known to care deeply about corporate social responsibility, which, in turn, benefits organizations like yours greatly.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the why’s and how’s of this fact and share valuable insights into how your team can make the most of it. Let’s begin!


Why Gen Z Stands Out ⁠— As Employees, Consumers, Donors, and More

Gen Z is growing up⁠—the oldest of the group being in their early 20s⁠—and they carry with them a tremendous amount of power. According to research in 2022, they account for nearly one-third of the global population and make up more than 40% of the U.S. consumer base. Not to mention, they currently command over $143 billion in purchase power and are expected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025.

And what we’ve seen so far is that they stand out from every other generation we’ve seen before⁠—largely due to their increasing demand for social responsibility from the brands they buy from and work for.



Here are a few key statistics relating to young employees (generally Gen Z and younger Millennials) in today’s workforce:

  • 88% consider their jobs more fulfilling when provided with opportunities to have a positive impact on society
  • 77% report a sense of purpose as being part of the reason they selected their current employer
  • Nearly 2/3 won’t take a job at a company with poor CSR practices
  • 61% who rarely or never volunteer still consider a company’s commitment to the greater good when deciding on a potential job
  • 35% would take a pay cut to work for a company committed to social responsibility
  • 45% would take a pay cut for a company that makes an environmental or social impact
  • 58% would take a pay cut to work for a company whose values align with their own

And what about as consumers? Here’s what you need to know about Gen Z and their buying habits:

  • 84% would give companies with good CSR the benefit of the doubt in a crisis
  • 63% are more likely to buy from a company that contributes to a social cause
  • 73% would pay extra for sustainable products from companies that prioritize CSR
  • 94% would buy from a company with an excellent CSR program
  • 55% choose eco-friendly and socially responsible brands

Gen Z has the desire to support socially responsible companies⁠—and, more than ever before, they’re putting their dollars, hours, and skills behind it. Thus, businesses across every sector throughout the world are being impacted by the rising demand for CSR.

As a result, those who follow through with socially responsible efforts (such as corporate philanthropy programming) are able to reap a wide range of benefits for doing so.


The Impact of Gen Z (& Increasing CSR) on Your Organization

Corporate social responsibility offers key advantages to nonprofits, including monetary donations, in-kind support, and volunteerism. As Gen Z continuously increases the demand for companies to participate in CSR, more and more benefits are being made available for organizations like yours.



Specifically, here’s what we’re seeing (and can continue to expect):


1. More matching gift programs being offered

Matching gift programs are particularly popular among Gen Z. Not only do the initiatives result in more money flowing to nonprofit causes, but they also democratize corporate giving in a way that more equally redistributes available funding. Employee matching essentially places team members in the driver’s seat of companies’ philanthropy. When individuals make personal donations to nonprofits, they’re able to direct corporate funding to their favorite causes.

Thus, as more and more companies are looking to appeal to Gen Z consumers and employees alike, matching gifts are likely to be a leading contender. Companies that have yet to offer donation-matching benefits are beginning to roll out new programs, while businesses that already match gifts have even been known to grow their offerings with increasing match maximums and donation ratios.


2. More corporate volunteerism opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are another key manner in which Gen Z likes to support their favorite causes. As such, corporate volunteerism is something that we’re seeing more of among companies in order to appeal to their audiences.

This can happen with a few different types of programs, including:

  • Team volunteer outings ⁠— Many companies have begun organizing group volunteer events by partnering with nonprofits in their communities. These can function as excellent team-building exercises outside of the typical office environment while also allowing the business to support mission-focused organizations like yours.
  • Paid volunteer time off ⁠— On an individual basis, paid volunteer time off (or VTO) is becoming a popular employee benefit as well. This time should be offered above and beyond an individual’s existing paid time off, allowing them to support their favorite causes in hands-on ways.
  • Volunteer grants ⁠— Finally, volunteer grants are another popular offering among companies and their employees. These programs are similar to matching gifts, though individual employees contribute their time rather than their dollars, with employers matching the hours with corporate funding at a pre-determined rate.

As a nonprofit, it’s important to keep an eye out for these types of corporate initiatives cropping up around you. Keep in mind that while some volunteer programming can be utilized by targeting individual supporters themselves, it’s also a good idea to begin developing relationships with companies in your community as well.


3. Higher levels of participation in workplace giving

All of the above types of programming can be considered examples of workplace giving. And what makes workplace giving stand out against other types of corporate philanthropy is the crucial role that individual team members play. When employees participate in their companies’ giving efforts, the companies end up giving more.

What that means for your organization is that companies offering these initiatives isn’t all that matters. You also need to ensure that your supporters, or the companies’ employees, are actively participating in them in order to drive results.

Luckily for you, that’s where Gen Z comes in once again. Not only does Gen Z command workplace giving efforts from their employers (and general philanthropy from the companies they buy from), but they’re also particularly eager to get involved with the opportunities at hand.

In other words, as more and more businesses begin launching or expanding their philanthropic offerings, more and more Gen Z’ers will be on board to participate. In the end, that means more and more corporate⁠—and individual⁠—support for your organization. It’s a win-win!

—  —  —

Effective CSR practices can make a company stand out to its employees and consumers. At the same time, innovative corporate fundraising practices can positively benefit nonprofit causes like yours as well. And while these factors tend to be particularly high priorities for Gen Z supporters, they also provide valuable engagement opportunities for donors of all ages⁠—and they certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

Corporate giving is increasing among businesses looking to better appeal to their stakeholders. Do you have the tools and resources to ensure your nonprofit can keep up?


Humanitru clients experience an average active donor growth of 69%

See how we can help you reach those who support your mission and grow your revenue today!