Many charities having been increasingly concerned about ensuring the support of millennials, which are key to their futures. In order to provide perspective on how the largest 100 U.S. charities perform with respect to generational brand awareness, Zion & Zion’s research team analyzed the data from the 1,053 respondents to our annual survey to rank Americans’ brand awareness of the 100 largest U.S. charities. Note that the original analysis from our study can be found in this report: Brand Awareness Rankings of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities, and related Zion & Zion studies can be found at High Income Consumers’ Brand Awareness Rankings of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and The Gender Gap in Brand Awareness Rankings of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities.


Segmenting the data between millennials (≤38 years old) and non-millennials (≥39 years old) reveals an interesting generational contrast. Figures 1 and 2 show that both generations share similar brand awareness for the most recognized charities—eight of the same charities are in their respective top tens. But there is a significant difference between the generations when comparing brand awareness differentials (Figures 3 and 4).

For example, Figure 3 reveals that Easterseals has a 69% brand awareness among non-millennials, but only 9% of millennials. That’s a 59% differential between generations. Other charities with high differentials that favor non-millennials are Shriners Hospitals for Children (with a differential of 51%), National Multiple Sclerosis Society (44%), and Catholic Relief Services (43%). Conversely, millennials own differentials over non-millennials in a number of charities, although the gap is much smaller: Direct Relief (17%), Feeding America (15%), and Houston Food Bank (11%). See Figure 4.


It is clear from the data that not all charities suffer from a problem with respect to differences in generational brand awareness. However, some clearly do. It is our hope that by exposing the problem where it exists, and by highlighting the fact that the problem does not exist everywhere, we not only prompt charities to action but make it clear that the problem is indeed actionable.