The Least Generous Generation? No

I recently heard a talk that was focused on how this current generation is the least generous generation of all-time. The speaker was focusing on Americans here as well as considering generation as a whole society today not just young or older people. His overall point was that this is the least generous and least likely to give to a cause generation. I entirely disagree with this.

I think this is the most generous generation we have ever seen in the history of the world. However, what most people are being generous towards and why they are generous is what is questionable. I have seen through social media an explosion of opportunities for people to be generous and give money. We see people donate money very quickly and everyone thinks their generosity is going to a good cause, or else why would they give? People are quick to donate to non-profits asking. People are quick to give after national disasters and tragedies. People are quick to donate to a Kickstarter project they feel could do great things. Kickstarter allows just about anyone to come up with an idea and ask for money to create, develop or start their project/idea. Many are good ideas, some are not. But people still give like crazy to them, especially what I would deem some dumb ideas. This generation is quick to give to popular causes and jump on bandwagons when they take off on social media.

This is why I believe this generation of people, at least here in America, are the most generous people in the history of the world. But through all this, I believe we can see exactly what many of these people are striving for. I believe that through much of the generosity of people we can see 3 types of “generational” people.

Here are three types of “generational” people that I mainly see in this current generation:

Want to be included generation. These people just want to people included, often times in something that is cool at the time. Just recently on Facebook there was an explosion for the ALS Challenge where people would challenge friends to either dump a bucket of water on their head or give $100 to ALS research. In a very short amount of time they had raised over $110 MILLION dollars. Hugely successful in terms of donations. But most people just jumped on the bandwagon and whether or not they actually gave, they just wanted to be included. Kickstarter projects are a great way for that too. Why else would 7,000 people give $55,000 to a guy to make and eat potato salad? This generational type of people just want to be included. They are seeking acceptance.

Non-committal generation. People are quick to give, but that’s it. They don’t want more information, they don’t want more commitment. They just want to give and be done. This generation is quick to swipe the card as long as they are not asked for physical help or a greater commitment than simply just giving. I’ll give, just don’t ask for anything more. This generational type of people just want to be one and done.

What do I get in return generation. People will give to a cause as long as it benefits themselves in many ways. If I give, I want to get something in return is the usual mentality. Kickstarter projects and other idea websites often have contribution amounts that if people give to a certain amount they get a certain amount of stuff in return. I’ll give as long as I get. Other times I’ve seen ideas/projects that people give towards that could fit in the “want to be included” type but they give because they know they’ll get something in return later. Recently, I saw a brewery was asking for backers to launch another brewery location in Germany. They were asking for $1,000,000. A crazy amount, right? No. This goal was shattered weeks after they launched the chance to give. They raised $2.5 million dollars towards this new brewery. Many people will be generous as long as there is a benefit to themselves. This generational type of people want something in return.

People are very quick to give today. Many great causes are given towards and much good is being done around the world due to the generosity of people. But out of this generosity, whether towards what could be deemed some good causes and some dumb causes, we can see three generational types of people. People will be generous out of a desire to be included and accepted, people are willing to be generous as long as you don’t ask for anymore than just that, and people will be generous as long as there is something in return for them.


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