Millennials Spend on Experiences

The Millennial generation, defined as individuals born between 1980-1999, has already expanded to become the largest population cohort the United States has ever seen. With over 86 million people who fall under this ‘Gen Y’ distinction, that’s 7% larger than the baby boomer generation1.

Millennials cherish experiences, with 78% of survey respondents saying they would rather spend money on an experience than a material thing.

With some millennials now reaching their mid-thirties, many are enjoying a boost in spending power and beginning to accumulate some wealth. One big economic trend the Nonprofit world is paying attention to right now is wealth transference, with an estimated $41 trillion dollars in wealth being transferred from baby boomers to the two succeeding generations in the next 25 years2.

Millennials are also far more socially aware than past generations. This generation is less interested in structures, institutions and organzations, but rather in the people they help and the issues they support3.

With all the signs pointing to younger generations as the future of individual giving, it would be a mistake to ignore this growing demographic of potential donors.

So how do you appeal to this growing group of young professionals? What sort of items will they be most likely to bid on at your fundraising events?

According to a recent survey conducted by Eventbrite, it turns out millennials have a particular interest in spending their money on Experiences, with 78% of Gen Y respondents saying they would rather spend money on an experience than a material thing. It’s also important to point out that this trend is not limited to Millennials, with the portion of U.S. consumer spending devoted to experiential travel and events has increased 70% since 1987. 

This is an important consideration for fundraising professionals in charge of selecting items for future charity fundraising auctions.

Following are a few more articles on the topic:


1On the Rise –
3The Millennial Impact

Winspire Communications Director

About Ian Lauth

With an extensive background in marketing and design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue.

Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content,  newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals. You can also find Ian on Google+.

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