In the lead-up to the elections, Gen Ys are still trending for President Obama at about a two-to-one rate, down slightly from the 68% of the youth vote he garnered in 2008 given their heightened concern about jobs. But this generation’s financial challenges have not dampened their enthusiasm for discovering more ways to express their socially conscious selves
through innovative new digital activism platforms.
Non-profit stalwart charity:water
has built a committed following and raised more than $70 million to help get 2.5 million people access to clean water globally. And while their high-design aesthetic contributes to their success, it’s the way they brandish their results that really sets them apart. A detailed “About Us” provides the requisite back-story on the website, but it’s the data-centric headlines (e.g., “1,788 Campaigns Started for Rwanda. Thank You!”) that really make an impression. From their punchy Annual Reports
detailing every measure of their impact to their open-book infographic-inspired financial summaries, charity:water sets the standard for transparency with purpose in the non-profit arena, or any arena for that matter.
The Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
uses the Trayvon Martin case
as its pivot point for demanding an end to racial profiling. It started as a simple Facebook appeal
, but touched a nerve and went viral, spurring a Change.org petition that became the “fastest growing petition in the history of the Internet,” per ABC News. For good measure, it won two Silver Lions at the 2012 Cannes Advertising Festival. The unlikely creator of the campaign, 24-year-old McCann digital strategist Daniel Maree
, initiated the social media blowup that won the hardware. Born in South Africa, Maree wanted to raise awareness about the Martin case because he’d felt discriminated against while walking the streets wearing a hoodie.
Empowerment: Krochet Kids International
empowers communities through e-commerce designed to combat global poverty. Using a unique cyclical business model, people living in extreme poverty in Uganda and Peru are taught a tradable skill, such as knitting, and are then mentored to use that skill to produce marketable goods, such as hats. The organization coordinates the distribution of those goods back to the U.S. Upon sale, profits are returned to the maker for saving or investing in new ventures. In a nod to Gen Ys’ craving for connections to the origins of the products they buy
, each item is hand-signed by its creator.