Millennials vs. Non: The Generational Divide in Brand Awareness Rankings of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities

  • Authors: Aric Zion, MS;
  • Peter Juergens, MA;
  • Thomas Hollmann, MBA, PhD

INTRODUCTION

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 American’s 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.

Additional analysis charts below

Please scroll to view all data columns.

Charity Name
Brand Awareness Rank
Brand Awareness
Millennial Brand Awareness
Non-Millenial Brand Awareness
Generation Brand Awareness Differential
Favored Generation
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital st-jude 1 91% 86% 94% 8% Non-Millennials
Salvation Army salvation 2 88% 78% 92% 14% Non-Millennials
Boys & Girls Club of America clubs 3 87% 78% 92% 13% Non-Millennials
American Heart Association heart 4 85% 71% 93% 22% Non-Millennials
YMCA of the USA ymca 4 85% 81% 87% 6% Non-Millennials
American Cancer Society american-cancer 6 84% 70% 90% 19% Non-Millennials
Goodwill Industries International oodwill 7 81% 66% 87% 21% Non-Millennials
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America make-a-wish 8 80% 66% 87% 21% Non-Millennials
American National Red Cross red-cross 9 80% 73% 84% 11% Non-Millennials
Habitat for Humanity International habitat 10 78% 63% 85% 22% Non-Millennials
Boy Scouts of America boy-scouts 11 77% 66% 85% 19% Non-Millennials
Wounded Warrior Project wounded-warrior 12 75% 61% 84% 23% Non-Millennials
March of Dimes Foundation march 13 75% 59% 84% 24% Non-Millennials
World Wildlife Fund wwf 14 75% 60% 82% 22% Non-Millennials
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) aspca 15 72% 63% 76% 14% Non-Millennials
Doctors Without Borders USA doctors-without 15 72% 58% 78% 21% Non-Millennials
Planned Parenthood Federation of America lanned-parenthood 17 71% 70% 72% 2% Non-Millennials
Mayo Clinic mayo 18 70% 48% 80% 32% Non-Millennials
Susan G. Komen for the Cure susan-g-komen 19 68% 49% 79% 30% Non-Millennials
Humane Society of the United States humane-society 20 68% 56% 76% 20% Non-Millennials
Shriners Hospitals for Children shriners 21 66% 31% 82% 51% Non-Millennials
United States Fund for UNICEF unicef 22 66% 53% 74% 20% Non-Millennials
United Way Worldwide united-way 23 65% 42% 75% 33% Non-Millennials
Alzheimer's Association alzheimers 24 63% 56% 68% 12% Non-Millennials
Smithsonian Institution smithsonian 25 60% 46% 70% 24% Non-Millennials
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation marine-toys 26 60% 46% 68% 22% Non-Millennials
Disabled American Veterans disabled-american 27 59% 37% 73% 36% Non-Millennials
Public Broadcasting Service bs 28 58% 38% 69% 32% Non-Millennials
Feed the Children feed-the-children 29 57% 45% 64% 18% Non-Millennials
Metropolitan Museum of Arts metropolitan-museum 30 56% 40% 64% 24% Non-Millennials
Save the Children Federation save-the-children 31 53% 39% 61% 22% Non-Millennials
Catholic Charities USA catholic-charities 32 53% 31% 62% 31% Non-Millennials
American Civil Liberties Union and Foundation aclu 33 51% 26% 66% 40% Non-Millennials
Easterseals easterseals 34 50% 9% 69% 59% Non-Millennials
Museum of Modern Art museum-of-modern 35 50% 43% 54% 11% Non-Millennials
Catholic Relief Services catholic-relief 36 50% 21% 65% 43% Non-Millennials
Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation clinton 37 43% 28% 51% 23% Non-Millennials
Rotary Foundation of Rotary International rotary 38 42% 27% 48% 22% Non-Millennials
National Multiple Sclerosis Society national-multiple-sclerosis 39 41% 14% 58% 44% Non-Millennials
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society leukemia 40 40% 26% 46% 20% Non-Millennials
Volunteers of America volunteers 41 39% 41% 38% 2% Millennials
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) uvenile-diabetes 42 38% 18% 46% 28% Non-Millennials
Feeding America feeding-america 43 36% 45% 30% 15% Millennials
American Kidney Fund american-kidney 44 36% 30% 39% 9% Non-Millennials
Nature Conservancy nature-conservancy 45 35% 14% 44% 30% Non-Millennials
Environmental Defense Fund environmental-defense 45 35% 18% 44% 26% Non-Millennials
Paralyzed Veterans of America aralyzed-veterans 47 34% 12% 45% 33% Non-Millennials
CARE USA care 47 34% 16% 43% 27% Non-Millennials
Junior Achievement USA unior-achievement 49 34% 9% 45% 36% Non-Millennials
Christian Broadcasting Network cbn 50 31% 13% 41% 28% Non-Millennials
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center memorial-sloan 51 31% 15% 41% 26% Non-Millennials
Teach for America teach-for-america 52 30% 28% 31% 3% Non-Millennials
Mount Sinai Health Systems mount-sinai 53 29% 17% 35% 18% Non-Millennials
World Vision world-vision 54 28% 20% 34% 13% Non-Millennials
Lutheran Services in America lutheran 55 28% 14% 37% 23% Non-Millennials
Children International children-international 56 25% 23% 26% 3% Non-Millennials
Helen Keller International helen-keller 57 23% 10% 31% 21% Non-Millennials
Smile Train smile-train 58 21% 11% 26% 15% Non-Millennials
United Service Organizations united-service 59 21% 14% 25% 11% Non-Millennials
New York-Presbyterian Hospital new-york-presbyterian 60 19% 14% 22% 9% Non-Millennials
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute dana-farber 61 18% 9% 22% 12% Non-Millennials
Food for the Poor food-for-the-poor 62 18% 20% 17% 3% Millennials
Samaritan's Purse samaritans 63 17% 12% 19% 7% Non-Millennials
The Arc the-arc 64 16% 16% 16% 0% Equal
Young Life young-life 65 16% 14% 17% 3% Non-Millennials
ChildFund International childfund 66 15% 9% 18% 9% Non-Millennials
Carter Center carter 67 15% 7% 19% 13% Non-Millennials
Compassion International compassion 68 13% 7% 16% 10% Non-Millennials
Scholarship America scholarshi 69 13% 15% 11% 4% Millennials
Americares Foundation americares 70 12% 15% 10% 5% Millennials
Midwest Food Bank midwest-food 71 12% 17% 9% 9% Millennials
UJA/Federation of New York uja 72 11% 8% 12% 4% Non-Millennials
Wycliffe Bible Translators wycliffe 73 10% 8% 11% 4% Non-Millennials
Step Up for Students step-u 74 9% 16% 6% 9% Millennials
PATH ath 75 9% 16% 6% 10% Millennials
Task Force for Global Health task-force 76 9% 15% 5% 10% Millennials
Museum of the Bible museum-of-the-bible 77 8% 11% 7% 4% Millennials
Houston Food Bank houston 77 8% 16% 5% 11% Millennials
International Rescue Committee international-rescue 79 8% 3% 10% 7% Non-Millennials
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee american-jewish 80 8% 11% 6% 5% Millennials
Direct Relief direct-relief 81 8% 19% 1% 17% Millennials
Cross International cross 82 6% 11% 4% 7% Millennials
Cru cru 83 6% 5% 7% 1% Non-Millennials
Detroit Institute of Arts detroit 83 6% 5% 7% 2% Non-Millennials
Catholic Medical Mission Board catholic-medical 83 6% 5% 7% 2% Non-Millennials
Operation Blessing International Relief & Development operation 86 6% 5% 6% 1% Non-Millennials
Brother's Brother Foundation brothers 87 6% 9% 4% 5% Millennials
Mathew 25: Ministries matthew 87 6% 5% 6% 2% Non-Millennials
Healthwell Foundation healthwell 89 6% 3% 7% 4% Non-Millennials
Patient Access Network Foundation atient-access 90 5% 7% 4% 2% Millennials
Educational Media Foundation educational-media 90 5% 9% 3% 6% Millennials
Good 360 ood-360 92 5% 5% 5% 0% Equal
Delivering Good deliverin 92 5% 8% 3% 4% Millennials
Entertainment Industry Foundation entertainment 94 5% 8% 3% 5% Millennials
CBM (Christian Blind Mission) cbm 95 4% 5% 3% 2% Millennials
Project Orbis International roject-orbis 96 4% 5% 3% 2% Millennials
Population Services International opulation 97 4% 7% 2% 5% Millennials
Peabody Essex Museum eabody 98 3% 0% 6% 6% Non-Millennials
Conservation International Foundation conservation 99 3% 6% 1% 5% Millennials
MAP International ma 100 2% 8% 0% 8% Millennials

THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE

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.


PUTTING THE DATA TO WORK

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.