Are you prepared for the rising surge of “stuff giving?”

Are you prepared for the rising surge of “stuff giving?”

by Bill High

Earlier this year, the Washington Post (March 27, 2015) called it a seismic shift.

The Boomer Generation displayed a penchant for collecting things:  cars, big houses, lots and lots of possessions.  They thought these possessions were valuable.

But their kids don’t want those things.

Two big trends are highlighting this shift.  First, Boomers as they start to retire, begin to downsize and simplify their lives.  They clean out houses, basements, attics and start to look for places for their “treasures.”  As part of this cleansing, they also begin to focus on things that are important—things they might have neglected during their 60-hour workweeks—like relationships.

The Millenials on the other hand questioned the emphasis on all those things anyway.  They’ve sought out relationships first.  They are the loft generation.  Simpler ways and simpler lives mean that the 8-foot sectional sofa doesn’t fit.

In short, the Millenials don’t want the stuff that their parents collected.

Where does all this stuff find a home?

Increasingly, it’s being donated.  And the amount of those donations will only rise.  The good news is that more and more charities are equipped to receive these donations.   A few charities are equipped to receive those donations directly.  But more and more charities are opting to serve this rising surge of donations and allowing their donors to make their contributions online by way of services like

And that’s the encouraging part of this story.  Those things that the Boomers once thought so valuable will be put to good use.  Some of them will be donated and sold with the proceeds going to feed children, the homeless, provide education or clean water.  Other items will be put directly to use by those who need them.  Regardless, the outcome is a welcome one—to put stuff in its place.

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Published December 8, 2015

Topics: Giving Trends

Giving TrendsNonprofit Development

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