Millennials Demand a More Tech-centric Approach from Charities

We’re living in an exciting new digital world and there is a growing technology gap being felt by Canadian charities, as millennials demand more tech-centric approaches to everything they do, including how they want to support charitable causes.

Gone are the days of collecting change on the sidewalk (who carries much change anymore?), giving way to automated donations, text to donate and mobile giving via browser integration.

A new Charitable Giving study released by Capital One Canada found that 42 per cent of millennials would donate more to charity if it were easier to do so online or via mobile. The study also found that 2 out of 3 millennials would rather donate to many smaller charities than one large one, but the majority who had interacted with these smaller charities would mark their use of technology as ‘poor’ (59 per cent). This digital gap can mean thousands of dollars in lost donations.

Few organizations feel the effects of the digital gap more than small, local charities. In an effort to divert as much funding to the causes they are supporting as possible, they tend to operate on shoestring budgets and, with few full-time staff, can rarely take advantage of new digital technologies and top-tier technology talent.

The first-ever Capital One Canada Gift the Code Hackathon aspires to close the digital gap and give participating charities a much-needed tech boost.

Through a 40-hour coding sprint, 180 coders, designers and project managers signed up to brainstorm, build and submit solutions to address specific digital challenges faced by six Toronto-based charities.

Marc Saltzman, tech expert and author, will act as a host of this event and will serve on the final judging panel, providing teams with recognition badges for their work.

The Gift the Code Hackathon takes place from Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23 at BrainStation located in downtown Toronto. Here is a look at some of the challenges faced by participating charities:

  • Prosper Canada – A national charity is seeking ways to enhance financial literacy and empowerment for people with low incomes through online learning communities and user-centered solutions.
  • Second HarvestThe largest food rescue program in Canada needs its data to be more easily stored, managed and accessed by its team.
  • Women’s Habitat – A women’s shelter and support service is looking for enhanced functionality and visual appeal in its online donation system.
  • Toronto PFlag – A support, education and advocacy charity for LGBTQ individuals and their families needs a digital solution to find parents of LGBTQ individuals who can act as mentors to new members.
  • Holland Bloorview – Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital is looking for better digital ways to collect relevant feedback from the children it works with.
  • Blake Boultbee – A community-based outreach service in east Toronto requires a digital organizational tool to help manage its volunteers.

To learn more about the Gift the Code Hackathon, visit the website and follow the hashtag at #GiftTheCode. Hope to see you there!

This post is in partnership with Capital One Canada.