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Blackbaud: Boomers donate almost half of all charitable dollars
It's time for nonprofits to rethink donor strategies. Baby Boomers are emerging as the most generous, dominant force in charitable giving, according to a new study from Blackbaud, a software and services supplier to nonprofits, and multi-channel giving the new norm.
According to Blackbaud, a new generation is emerging in the US as the "torchbearer" of giving - Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomers, those between the ages of 49 and 67, are now responsible for 43% of all dollars donated, found Blackbaud in its "Next Generation of American Giving" study, and multi-channel engagement is becoming the norm.
"With changes in technology, the economy and demographic make-up of donors, nonprofit organizations are really trying to get a handle on the right investment for their future success as engagement becomes even more and more complex," said Mark Rovner, founder and CEO, Sea Change Strategies, adding that "different generations prioritize their support of a nonprofit in different ways."
The study, which divided donors into four generations (Gen X, Gen Y, Boomers, Matures), compares interest and giving behavior. It found that almost three-quarters (72%) of Baby Boomers, by far the largest demographic, donated an average of $1,212 to charities last year. By comparison, 59% of Generation X - those between the ages of 33 to 48 - gave an average of $732.
Meanwhile, a significant percentage (88%) of the oldest age groups (Matures) donated to charities, an average of $1,367 (26% of the total). Sixty percent of the youngest Americans donated an average of $481.
The study is quick to point out that younger donors may give less as a group because they are still establishing careers, starting families, and some may be having more difficulty making ends meet. These are the groups most likely to show support by way of volunteering their time.
So, what charities are the various generations likely to support? According to Blackbaud:
- Baby Boomers and Matures are more likely to support veterans' causes;
- Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to support human rights and international causes;
- Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to support children's charities;
- Gen Y is the least likely to support local social services;
- Gen Y is less likely to support environmental causes.
For more information on giving preferences and ways in which each demographic prefer to donate (volunteering/cash/donating items), check out Blackbaud's excellent infographic.
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