6 Key Points from Nonprofit Fundraising Donations by Generation Report | Miratel Solutions

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6 Key Points from Nonprofit Fundraising Donations by Generation Report

The face of nonprofit fundraising and charitable giving has been evolving significantly over the past decade and fortunately fundraisers have many resources at their disposal to better understand donor habits and motivators. I often spotlight credible research that provide helpful data like the 2013 Millenial Impact Report, the Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising and the mGive Text Donation Survey 2013. I also regularly write about the latest monthly Blackbaud Index and Blackbaud has recently released a new report – The Next Generation of American Giving – which provides insight into donor giving habits of various age  generations demographics: Y and X, baby boomers and matures. The following are some key points that can help fundraisers tailor marketing initiatives to each demographic.

  1. Generation Y (born 1981 to 1995) – While most age groups intend for their overall giving habits to stay the same, Gen Y’ers are most likely to increase: $ support according to 21% of respondents; and the number of charities they support with 13%. A growth of $42 within the next year is anticipated.
  2. Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) – 50% of Gen X’ers are most likely to give more than once a year, the highest response amongst all age groups. Interestingly 31% of this age group think that they can make the most impact by volunteering, where as older generations think $ donations make the biggest difference.
  3. Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) – Representing 43% of total giving with 51 million American donors – the most amongst all age demographics – boomers are second next to matures with 72% making average annual gifts of $1,212 totaling an estimated $61.9 billion each year. Boomers were also the largest age group to donate through a monthly giving program with 21% of respondents.
  4. Matures (born 1945 and earlier) – According to the research, this demographic is key as it is the most generous age group with 88% of them supporting an average of 6.2 causes. They are also most likely to believe that they make the largest impact by donating money according to 48% of respondents.
  5. Causes – Top causes supported amongst all age groups include Local Social Service (44%), Place of Worship (41%) and Health Charities (39%). Meanwhile, the least supported causes include Human Rights & International Development (12%), Victims of Crime or Abuse (8%) and Trade Union (1%). When asked which causes they would support if they had to reduce their giving by 50% the priority causes become Place of Worship (36%), Local Social Service (31%) and Children’s Charities (25%). Interestingly popularity in certain causes increases or decreases with age. For example Children’s Charities are most popular amongst Generation Y and decreases as the age group gets older, while Troop & Veterans are most popular amongst the Matures and decreases as the age group gets younger.
  6. Giving Channels – Surprising, the top giving channels with respondents were donations made at a checkout counter topping the list at 50% and through purchase of proceeds with 40% while 39% donated online. Newer digital channels ranked much lower overall with email at 15%, mobile text at 8%, social networking site at 6% and online ads with 6%.

Studies of this nature can help nonprofits focus their strategies by generation to appeal to a wider potential donor base. The 33 page The Next Generation of American Giving report offers many more insights and is also available as a tip sheet and inforgraphic.


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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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