Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative

The Millennial Giving Calculator

The calculator provides millennials with a tool to calculate their annual giving contribution, as a percentage of their disposable income.

Project Partner

Felicity Meu, Director, Stanford Next Generation Giving

Project’s Guiding Questions:  

How might we encourage millennial graduates from a four-year academic institution to increase their annual financial philanthropic contributions (maybe volunteering time as well)?

When millennials are prompted to compare their annual philanthropic contributions to those made by their peer set, does that affect their philanthropic approach?

To which peer group do millennials want to compare their annual philanthropic contribution, if any? College alumni class? Co-workers? Peers with a shared cultural identity?

Will engaging millennials in an experience around calculating their giving encourage them to want to create a philanthropic plan?


Millennials are increasingly an engaged and emerging demographic in the philanthropic space, but we know very little about their motivations and behaviors around philanthropy.

This project emerged after Nadia and Felicity ran a workshop for Stanford alumni in Chicago, where they asked them if they had ever calculated their giving as a percentage of their income.  None of the millennials had done so, but they were curious to explore this question.

Our Target Users:

Millennials who have graduated from a four-year college. [We will be exploring this demographic by testing on Stanford alumni (within last 15 years – so approx 21-36 years). ]


If we prompt millennial college graduates to calculate their giving as a percentage of their income, and if we invite them to compare their percentage to their peer network, we believe it they will commit to give more annually.

If we increase their desire to give more philanthropically annually, they may spend more time exploring the appropriate philanthropic tools and/or seeking guidance from the experts they need to achieve that new goal.

Once a millennial identifies the desire to give a larger percentage of their wealth philanthropically, they are more open to crafting a longer-term philanthropic plan.


A giving calculator combined with an invitation to compare their giving percentage to their peers.


Lessons Learned: