AMERICAN musician, songwriter, and producer Chancellor Johnathan Bennett, better known as Chance The Rapper, has not only made a name for himself in the music industry as a hip hop and rap artist, but is a growing name in the philanthropy world.

At just 24, in addition to being at the top of his profession with seven Grammy nominations this year, this millennial is being recognised more and more for his propensity for generosity, taking home a Humanitarian award at the 2017 BET Awards.

As Chance is increasingly in the news for his altruistic acts rather than his award-winning albums, he credits his father, who has worked in Chicago politics for many years, and grandmother for instilling in him a sense of activism and service to others. He explained to Rolling Stone, “there’s just always been a calling to, if there’s something wrong in the world to try and put some type of dent in it.”

Making A Difference

Named Chicago’s 2014 Outstanding Youth of the Year, Chance shows his hometown pride by:

  • working with his father on the #SaveChicago project to combat gun violence in the notoriously deadly city
  • co-creating a campaign to provide high-tech winter coats for 1,000 homeless
  • hosting open mics and music events for students
  • setting up a nonprofit, SocialWorks, “to empower [Chicago] youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity”
  • donating US$1 million to the public school system to reduce a government funding shortfall
  • establishing the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund which has already raised US$2.2 million since its inception in June 2017
  • and grand marshalling the back-to-school parade this month, followed by a surprise free concert and giveaway of 30,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies.

Not only leveraging his voice to raise funds, he is a social activist as well. The night before the 2016 US Presidential election he led thousands of people in a march to the polls as part of the “Get Out the Vote” campaign, has spoken on the ‘art of activism’ at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, and met with then-President Obama to discuss My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, an initiative connecting civic leaders with young men of colour, addressing their challenges and promoting racial justice.

Millennial Movement

A generation stereotyped for being lazy, entitled, and narcissistic, they are actually the ones influencing philanthropic trends according to Forbes. Similar to Chance, they are motivated to “help” and make a positive impact on the world they have inherited. According to millennial researchers, 84% of millennials in the US made a donation in 2014 and 70% volunteered. However, instead of committing their cash to one cause, they prefer self-directed giving strategies and are dedicated to supporting social concerns and those companies who also support their issues.

While it’s easy to dismiss Gen Y as unimportant since they generally contribute at a rate lower than other generations and give smaller donation sizes – they are the future. Giving via technology is growing exponentially – one report on US giving trends showed that online giving reached a record high in 2016. Digital donations rose by more than 7% and mobile devices transactions grew by 21%.

We’re happy to report that even if you don’t have the following and finances of Chance The Rapper, you can still make a difference. Think about what impact you want to leave on your world and find a cause close to your heart where you can contribute the gift of time and skills in lieu of money.

  • Give your time, money or skills to causes you care about here.

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