Are young people connecting with charities?

In the 20th Century, young people’s involvement with charities was likely to consist largely of doing small-scale fundraising events – fun runs, laying a mile of pennies, etc – but few were expected to connect with charities, let alone wishing or being able to give to them.

The 21st Century has seen major changes, with young people showing an increased social conscience and wishing to give to charities of whose work they approve. In the last decade, it became clear that young people wanted to give to charity – and that mobile donations and text giving was their preferred means.

The coronavirus crisis heightened young people’s charity involvement, with a reported 61% of those aged 12-14 connecting to a charity above and beyond their school work. The most popular sectors with this age group are health – increasing in popularity since the start of the coronavirus crisis – followed by homelessness, mental health and human rights. Other sectors supported by young people include UK poverty, disability and international aid.

Sadly, the one charity sector which does not feature in young people’s top 10 is the Elderly. This reflects society as a whole, where in the last 12 years the Elderly have consistently attracted less financial support than children – or animals.

Overall, however, the young are setting the rest of us an example to follow. They may not have much money, but they give of both money and time to those less fortunate than themselves. This is something we should remember before associating young people with illegal or anti-social activities. Whilst there are certainly young people – and not-so-young people – who break the law and behave antisocially, many more set a fine example of care and action for charities in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth.