7 Things Your Museum or Nonprofit Needs to Know About Gen Z

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Who is Generation Z? The next generation in line to rule the world, Gen Z is comprised of those born after 1998, the eldest of which are finishing up high school or entering college. We’ve compiled a list of 7 things that will help your organization better understand this new generation.

1. They are diverse

Generation Z is one of the most diverse generations ever. In fact, by 2020, it is projected that over half of those belonging to Generation Z will be from minority races. This means it is more important than ever for museums and nonprofits to embrace diversity in their programming, outreach, marketing, and fundraising efforts.

2. They are digital

To engage with Gen Z, you have to know where to reach them. The average member of Generation Z spends 3.5 hours on their smartphone daily! Digital is a key avenue for how this generation learns, communicates, and socializes, amongst other things. As Nonprofit Tech For Good’s 2017 Giving Report shows, 59 percent were inspired by messages they saw on social media while 45 percent were inspired by attending a charity event, and 14 percent based on an email they read. By and large, the best way to reach this generation is online and through digital channels such as social media, apps, and mobile messaging.

3. They have disposable income

Many believe that the younger generations often don’t have much cash on hand, but that is not necessarily true. Generation Z receives an average allowance of nearly $70 a month, or $44 billion annually. This means many may have enough income to donate to causes periodically and that nonprofits should look for ways to create lower entry-points to engage them philanthropically as early as possible.

4. They are generous

Despite the fact that the eldest members of Generation Z are barely old enough to have careers and the youngest is just entering kindergarten, they are still a fairly charitable generation. In fact, 30 percent have donated to charity while 26 percent have helped raise money for noble causes. The top three causes for Generation Z are youth, animals, and education, which means that museums will need to increase their efforts to demonstrate their impact and importance in the live’s of this generation.

5. They are more educated

In an age with dwindling job security, it seems those in Gen Z have figured out that education is vital. For this reason, 50 percent of Gen Z’s will be university educated as compared to 33 percent of millennials and 25 percent of Gen X. Rather than bowing to an unstable economy, Gen Zs are swaying the ties in their favor by prioritizing education and career development as much as possible.

6. They are forward thinking

Gen Z is also highly forward-thinking. Given that they have grown up in a world in which instability has been commonplace, members of this generation tend to think ahead with regards to their career moves. In fact, over 70 percent are interested in volunteering as a means of gaining work experience. Sounds like a great opportunity for your nonprofit to benefit from a flood of new volunteers, doesn’t it?

7. They have short attention spans

On the flip side, one major difference with regards to members of Generation Z is their shorter attention spans. The average attention span of a member of Gen Z is eight seconds as opposed to 12 seconds for Millennials. This means companies and organizations have to work harder and more creatively to gain and maintain the attention of Generation Z.

While Generation Z may be one of the most unpredictable generations, they’re the most connected, digital, and are undoubtedly crucial to the success of your organization. There are untold opportunities for museums and nonprofits to benefit from addressing the unique characteristics and needs of every generation… and we look forward to seeing how our sectors rise to the occasion!

What’s your organization doing to engage Gen Z? Let us know!

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