Casey Rotter: Millennial Humanitarian

July 7 - On The Dot
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: Texting All Millennials

We constantly hear the term “millennials,” and it’s usually mentioned in a negative light. Millennials are individuals who were born between about 1982 and 2004. While people mostly consider this group to be obsessed with electronics and somewhat entitled, they’re also known for being tolerant of differences and big believers in following their dreams.

The truth is millennials, like baby boomers and other generations, don’t fit into one category. Twenty-two years is a big range, so chances are the belief that all millennials sit around Snapchatting and texting all day is wrong. Today, don’t judge your millennial co-worker or family member by her birth year. They are the future, after all.


HeForShe, launched in September 2014, is a United Nations Women movement developed to engage men and boys to advocate for gender equality. It used the hashtag #HeForShe to gain momentum, and in less than a week, more than 100,000 men and boys from almost every country in the world committed to fighting for gender equality.

That’s not all! In less than two weeks, there were 1.1 million #HeForShe tweets by more than 750,000 users. Twitter named it a catalytic moment in 2014, even painting the hashtag on the Twitter headquarters wall.

UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson is the spokeswoman for the campaign, and the video of her HeForShe speech has been viewed nearly 2 million times. Clearly, the message of gender equality resonates with the other sex more than we might expect. Thanks for the support, guys!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Casey Rotter, Director and Founder of UNICEF NextGen

Casey Rotter has always thought globally and been focused on giving back. Her paternal grandmother was a Holocaust survivor and her mother is a lifelong volunteer. Thanks to her family, Rotter has always understood the importance of global issues and philanthropy. She also shared a love of UNICEF ambassador Audrey Hepburn with her mother.

In college, after learning about the genocide in Rwanda, Rotter participated in her university’s UNICEF club, organizing a panel with some of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Like many college students, she hadn’t been sure what path her life would take, but after hearing their stories, she knew she wanted to become a humanitarian.

Later, while Rotter was enrolled in a graduate program for fundraising and philanthropy, she discovered the average age of nonprofits’ donors was 63 years old. That statistic stuck with her and became the impetus for her thesis focus: how and why nonprofit organizations should engage the next generation of donors and supporters: millennials.

She founded UNICEF’s Next Generation, or NextGen, for young leaders and innovators in their 20s and 30s who fight tirelessly to save the world and support UNICEF’s programs. Since the program began in 2009, it’s raised more than $5 million and has supported 11 key UNICEF projects worldwide, including those with a focus on nutrition, neonatal health and child protection.

One of these programs is the UNICEF Tap Project, which helps children throughout the world gain access to clean water. In 2014, UNICEF NextGen matched $100,000 donated to the Tap mobile experience, and in 2015, NextGen raised $150,000 for the Tap Project.

Rotter hopes to grow the organization to NextGen members in every state in the U.S. NextGen steering committees are currently based in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, but are growing in cities like Atlanta and Houston.

This heart-of-gold hero proves that when it comes to caring about the world’s problems and doing something about it, age is just a number.


I’ll leave you with this inspirational quote from 17th century writer and preacher John Bunyan. He said:

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

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