Young people’s engagement with charitable causes has increased significantly thanks to recent social media campaigns focusing on selfies.

According to research by Mintel, initiatives such as the #nomakeupselfie and #IceBucketChallenge campaigns have “given a new life” to charitable giving.

This, it said, is because they appealed strongly to younger donors who had traditionally been “less actively engaged” with good causes.

Ina Mitskavets, senior consumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel, praised these campaigns for opening up “new ways of soliciting for charitable donations, with participants feeling the urgency of making a contribution in order to be part of a good cause”.

“The social campaigns and charity selfies also capitalise on the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) prevalent on social media, with participation driven further if someone is nominated to take part,” she commented.

Figures from Mintel showed that in general, 59 per cent of adults in the UK have done nothing to support charities online over the last year.

However, the figure for 16 to 24-year-olds is much lower at 46 per cent, indicating that more than half of people in this age group are engaged with their web-based campaigns.

This was reflected in the fact that 23 per cent of younger adults have liked or followed a charity’s social media page on sites such as Facebook. This compares with an average of 13 per cent among all adults.

Interestingly, many 16 to 24-year-olds are keen to declare their charitable giving, with 15 per cent donating in order to set an example for others.

Ms Mitskavets said this means the notion that good deeds should go unnoticed is “being replaced by open declarations of donations to charities and fundraising campaigns started on the internet”.

She added that the changing way in which charities are engaging with adults means they will eventually no longer be able to rely on steady contributions from donors who give money out of habit.

As a result, Ms Mitskavets believes third sector bodies must work hard to understand how to connect with younger potential donors in order to boost their participation.

CHARITABLE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS MAKE 16-24 YEAR-OLDS BRITAIN’S SECOND HIGHEST DONATORS, Mintel

Posted by Cheryl Jackson-Leafield.