Millennial Impact Project

The Millennial Impact Project is one of the most comprehensive and trusted studies on Millennial (born between 1979 and 2000) involvement with causes. Over the last five years, more than 16,000 Millennials and 50 partners have participated in this series of studies exploring how this generation connects, gives and gets involved with the issues they care about.

Those of us charged with finding or funding solutions to social challenges — philanthropists, government, nonprofits — seem to be moving too slowly and often operating with the same set of tools, concepts, and caution of the generations before us. If we're going to keep up with the rapid pace of change and the daunting complexities of these challenges, we must rethink traditional models. It's time for us to be bold, act with urgency, and resist the tendency to let caution be our guide. It's time for us to Be Fearless. Read more and learn what it means to Be Fearless.

If thousands of teens spoke up on the issues they care most about, would you listen? We are. In late 2011, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Nickelodeon, the Case Foundation commissioned a survey for teens and by teens on issues ranging from character and education, to citizenship and civic engagement. The results are now in, and their answers tell a powerful story about the state of American youth.

Building on our work on the Make it Your Own Awards and America’s Giving Challenge, the Case Foundation sponsored a study on how giving contests can promote donor engagement, skills development, and new online marketing opportunities for nonprofits. Read about the results from Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington, and learn tips for giving contest organizers and nonprofits that participate.

On June 22, 2011, the Case Foundation Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) convened a day-long virtual summit highlighting the latest trends in giving and engagement by the Millennial Generation. The Summit was an opportunity to bring together CEOs and executives across sectors for a cross-generational dialogue about how organizations can work better with the next generation of volunteers and donors.

In 2007, the Case Foundation launched its first public grants program, the Make It Your Own Awards (MIYO), which challenged people from all walks of life to discuss what matters most to them, decide what kind of community they want, and take action together. With nearly 5,000 applicants and more than 15,000 voters, the program involved the public in nearly every aspect of decision-making, and used the latest web 2.0 tools to empower applicants to raise funds and supporters.

In spring 2010, the Case Foundation together with the White House Domestic Policy Council and the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy teamed up to host a daylong public-private strategy session focused on promoting innovation through the use of prizes, challenges and open grantmaking.

The conference was an extension of President Obama’s Open Government Directive and the Case Foundation’s continued efforts to encourage citizen involvement in the decisions and policies that affect their lives. The result was a gathering of more than 200 innovators from more than 35 government agencies and 35 private and nonprofit sector expert organizations.

Thousands of individuals competed for donors, donations, and matching awards for their favorite charitable causes as part of the Case Foundation’s first-ever Giving Challenge. The Challenge introduced emerging technologies to millions of people and helped give new significance to the power of individual donors and small donations. This reflection paper provides an honest assessment of what worked well and what could be improved as more organizations look to adopt similar approaches that engage the public in new ways to raise money and awareness for causes they care about.

The second America's Giving Challenge leveraged the lessons learned from the 2007-2008 Giving Challenge, and came at a time when the economy was at a significant low, social media adoption by individuals and nonprofits was growing stronger and more and more online charitable contests and challenges were starting to sprout up. The Challenge raised more than $2.1 million for nonprofits from 105,000 donations in just 30 days.

"An Inequitable Invitation to Citizenship: Non-College-Bound Youth and Civic Engagement", published by Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), examines the issue of public and civic involvement for teenagers not on a university path. The paper explores the lack of engagement of this group compared to their peers and is rich with ideas and advice for a wide array of influencers, including funders, educators, the government, the military and businesses. The report concludes with recommendations of how to bring non-college-bound youth into our civic, public and political life.

All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service, published by Civic Enterprises, is an investigative report detailing veterans' reemergence into society and how civic participation can shape the transition from the battlefield to civilian life.  Focused on veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), All Volunteer Force concludes that veterans involved in community service and other forms of civic participation are more successful in finding job prospects, engaging in family life and overcoming physical and mental health challenges. 


This Case Foundation-commissioned paper offers specific recommendations for getting people from all walks of life to discuss what matters most to them, and then giving them the tools and technologies they need to identify problems and develop solutions together. It also warns against top-down solutions that require people to “plug into” existing programs or campaigns.


This Case Foundation-sponsored discussion paper focuses on the rise of Millennials—a Net-native, globally oriented generation whose cause lifestyle is redefining how we view activism. The paper investigates the potential impact of this group on the civic landscape, and raises provocative questions about their role in affecting positive, lasting change.

Civic Enterprises’ report, sponsored in part by the Case Foundation, finds that service-learning can address most of the educational factors that lead students to drop out of high school, and keep them engaged while helping them become model citizens.

To better understand the relationship between business, volunteering, and the bottom line, the Case Foundation and HandsOn Network commissioned LBG Associates to explore how—and to what degree—corporate volunteerism positively impacts communities, employees, and companies.

The annual Index of Global Philanthropy (from the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Prosperity) details the sources and magnitude of U.S. private international giving. The report demonstrates that the most effective philanthropic bridge between industrialized countries and developing nations is built on private philanthropy, volunteerism, and public-private partnerships, not exclusively government foreign aid. The report was sponsored in part by the Case Foundation.

Our "Case" Studies

We invest in big ideas that can change the world not only through our programs and funding, but also through knowledge sharing and thought leadership. Learn more about our Case studies – research, analyses, reflections and publications – that we’ve commissioned below.