Last week, fraternities and sororities raised an impressive $50,000 during Greek Week 2015, bringing philanthropy to the forefront of the annual event.The money will be donated to the Angel Wings Fund, which creates college scholarships for students who have lost a parent to cancer.
This year’s fundraising efforts set a new record and surpassed last years’s total by $20,000. This was also the first year Greek Week included a service day for its participants.
Many things have been said about millennials. We are becoming known as the most tolerant generation, but there is also evidence to suggest that we are the least involved when it comes to giving our time and skills.
We are encouraged by the Greek community’s successful week of service and fundraising, and hope it will inspire the entire CMU community to increase its philanthropic efforts during college and beyond.
A 2014 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 20-24 year olds had the lowest volunteer rate out of all age demographics, with only 18.7 percent of millennials volunteering their time that year.
At first glance, this number appears disheartening, but other studies show millennials are more active than originally thought. The 2014 Millenial Impact Report surveyed 1,514 young employees from more than 300 U.S. companies and found that millennials think about volunteering differently than their older counterparts.
The Impact Report showed that we, as a generation, are more likely to help people rather than companies, support issues before organizations and treat our time, money and social networks as having equal value when it comes to volunteering. By including forms of service that are harder to quantify, it was found that 47 percent of millennials actually volunteered within the last month before taking the survey.
Philanthropy and volunteering cannot continue to be measured in outdated ways. By utilizing online social networks and voices, millennials are volunteering in ways the generations before could not have predicted.
The Millennial Impact Report also found we are heavily influenced by the behaviors of our peers. When it come to giving back, this is perhaps the best discovery of all. If we as a college community can take the work of the Greeks as our cue, we have the potential to effect real and widespread change in our community.
CMU offers so many opportunities for volunteering philanthropy, getting involved is easier than ever for our generation. Relay for Life is coming up this weekend and is a perfect example. Whether you’re part of a team or simply want to honor a family member or friend, there will be no shortage of chances to donate.
CMU Honors freshmen also participate in philanthropy as part of their education and complete service hours in order to graduate. The United Way of Isabella County has a strong presence on campus and hosts volunteering and fundraising events year round.
Millennials are making so many strides, from social tolerance and increased connectivity to strong leadership skills.
There is no reason we cannot be known as the generous generation, too.
(This article was written by the CM Life Editorial Board and was originally found here: http://www.cm-life.com/article/2015/04/philanthropy-editorial)