Thursday, February 3, 2011

Meet the Philanthro-teens

Crain's New York takes a fascinating look into modern kids who are raising the bar on giving with Facebook fundraisers and even forming even their own foundations. Meet the teen philanthropists. Armed with new technology and an awareness of global issues, post-Millennials are engaging in social entrepreneurship in previously unimaginable ways. Though still materialistic, these teens and even preteens want to do something more significant than acquire the latest i-Pod Touch or Wii. In the past year, 79% of girls in the United States have contributed food or clothing, 53% have given their own money, and 66% have asked family or friends to give or volunteer, according to research commissioned by the United Nations Foundation.

Today's teens also plan to be generous when they get older. More than 75% say they will regularly give to charity, versus 63% in 1989, according to a nationwide survey by the Girl Scout Research Institute of 3,263 students in grades three through 12. Good Intentions: The Beliefs and Values of Teens and Tweens Today (2009), a national study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute in partnership with Harris Interactive explores what youth today value and how they go about making decisions, based on research conducted with 3,263 3rd to 12th-graders from around the country.

Among the findings is another refreshing point - the data shows that youth today value diversity. Among seventh to twelfth graders, nearly six in ten (59 percent) say that being around people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds is important to them. This appears to be particularly important to girls (63 percent versus 55 percent of boys) and youth from diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds.

Do you think teens today are more philanthropic than generations past?