New Survey: 3 in 5 Millennial and Gen Z donors plan to give more to charity in the next 12 months

Nov 29, 2023

Gen Z and Millennials were more likely to give at least half of their charitable donations to disaster relief over the past 12 months, more than Gen X and Baby Boomers


Malvern, Pa., November 29, 2023 - An online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Vanguard Charitable, a leading nonprofit and sponsor of donor-advised funds (DAFs), found that 3 in 5 Millennials and Gen Z donors (60%) say they’re likely to give more money to charity over the next 12 months than in the past 12 months, compared to only 2 of 5 Gen Xers (40%) and Baby Boomers (39%). Additionally, younger generations are focused more heavily on disaster relief, with more than half of Millennials (54%) and Gen Z (53%) giving to disaster relief in the past 12 months compared to 42% of Gen X and 37% of Baby Boomers.


“Over our 25 years of experience, we’ve seen firsthand how distinct generations respond differently to events and needs around them through their charitable giving. The constant, however, is that people want to make their communities better,” said Elaine Kenig, chief communications officer at Vanguard Charitable. “As we observe these next generations of donors’ giving, we’re focused on providing them with tools and strategies that recognize and respond to their distinct priorities as donors. It is essential for the philanthropic sector to have deeper insights and resources at the ready to help all donors maximize their giving.”


The percentage of American donors (defined as those who donated to charity in the past 12 months) with an established charitable giving budget1 has increased across generations, compared to this time last year.


  • Most significantly, this year more than half of Millennial donors (54%) included monetary charitable donations in their annual budget – representing a 10% increase over last year (49%).


  • As for other generations, the percentage of American donors who included monetary charitable donations in their annual budget has remained exactly the same among Gen Z (44%), Gen X (43%), and Boomers (42%), compared to last year.


Generational divides exist in how much money is donated – and to what causes.


  • Baby Boomers gave the most money on average in the past 12 months at $1,225, significantly more than Gen X at $712 and Millennials at $656, while Gen Z donors gave the second highest on average at $785.


  • Among the different generations, the proportion of their total giving varied when it came to disaster relief support. Almost half of Gen Z donors (47%) gave all of their donations to disaster relief, compared to Millennials (35%), Gen X (34%), and Baby Boomers (26%).


  • Gen Z and Millennial donors were more likely to donate 50% or more of their overall donations to disaster relief in the past 12 months (83% and 68%, respectively) compared to Gen X and Boomer donors (55% and 41%, respectively).


Greater access to more philanthropic resources and charitable giving planning tools can help spur greater giving. 


As all generations continue to cultivate their giving strategies, it is critical they embrace credible information readily available to them. 


More than half of Americans (52%) agree that when a crisis occurs, they do not know where to find reputable information on how to direct a monetary donation to support those in need. Even more challenging, 65% of Americans agree that when a crisis occurs (e.g., natural disaster, humanitarian crisis, economic crisis), they do not generally have funds available to give right away.


Vanguard Charitable continues to take steps to empower all generations of philanthropists through exposure to unique tools that help to build intentional giving strategies. Recently, Vanguard Charitable launched MyGiving, a new philanthropic planning-focused digital donor resource, which is redefining engagement with charitable giving. 


Through the adoption of unique granting tools such as MyGiving, all generations of granters can work together to formulate a cohesive strategy that supports the nonprofits closest to their hearts now and into the future.


For more information about Vanguard Charitable or giving through donor-advised funds, please visit


Survey Method:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Vanguard Charitable from October 12-16, 2023, among 2,073 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.7 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Katie Miller at


About Vanguard Charitable 

Vanguard Charitable is a leading U.S. nonprofit organization that fulfills its mission to increase philanthropic giving by administering a donor-advised fund—a tax-effective way to consolidate, accrue, and grant assets to charity. Since it was founded by Vanguard2 in 1997 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $17 billion to charity. More information is available at



Vanguard Charitable: 
Crystal Fountain




Published Date

 1 A charitable giving budget is defined as an intentional line item for charitable donations in an individual’s annual financial budget.


 2 Although Vanguard provides certain investment management and administrative services to Vanguard Charitable pursuant to a service agreement, Vanguard Charitable is not a program or activity of Vanguard. A majority of Vanguard Charitable’ s trustees are independent of Vanguard.






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