The Kids Are Alright: Millennial Generalizations Are Getting Old

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Kids Are Alright: Millennial Generalizations Are Getting Old

In the United States, we love to group people into generations. Today, most adult Americans fit into one of four generations. There is the silent generation—born between 1925 and the end of World War II—which follows the “GI generation” (born 1924 and earlier) and “comprises roughly 20 million adults in their 70s and 80s.” The Baby Boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, was, until very recently America’s largest demographic cohort. Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979 (full disclosure: this is where I fit), has about 65 million people. And, then there are the millennials, who the Pew Research Center tells us were born between 1980 and 1997 and, in 2015, surpassed Baby Boomers in numbers; they represent 75.4 million people.

Since 2009, the Case Foundation, in partnership with Achieve, has engaged over 100,000 millennials through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with the goal “to accurately capture and comprehend” how young adults engage with philanthropy or giving—what Case and Achieve label “cause engagement.”

In their work, Case and Achieve employ a mixed-methods approach that combines focus groups, quantitative surveys, and ethnography. Their latest report, titled “The Power of Voice: A New Era of Cause Activation and Social Issue Adoption,” was released on September 19th and represents the quantitative “phase 2” of a three-phase annual report.  . .

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