As we’ve witnessed, giving patterns change. That’s because not only does our world continue to evolve and become more innovative, people change too. Generations come and go, but what we have come to realize is that each generation is different; the way they do things is different, the way they act is different and their behaviors change and evolve from generation to generation. Nonprofit donating is dependent on the donors, and your organization’s approach must follow suit and change and evolve, depending on the generation of the donor.
In the nonprofit industry, it is our job to keep up with these changes—especially if we want to better understand and serve our supporters. The popular generations that are commonly referenced in our sector are Baby Boomers and Millennials. From time to time, we may see Generation X pop up, but there are so many more than that. This report about generational giving explicitly nails the different generations that we thought would be useful to share.
- Matures: These individuals are born in 1945 or earlier, and represent 26 percent of total giving. What is interesting to note here is that 60 percent donate to and 51 percent volunteer to religious and spiritual causes. When it comes to nonprofit donating, Matures are top supporters of emergency relief, troops and veterans, the arts and advocacy, and election campaigns.
- Baby Boomer: These individuals are born between 1946 and 1964, and represent 43 percent of total nonprofit donating. Approximately 46 percent of Baby Boomers want to know about a nonprofit’s finances before donating. They are top supporters of first-responder organizations.
- Generation X:These individuals are born between 1965 and 1976, and represent 20 percent of total nonprofit donating. Gen Xers are top supporters of health services, animal rights and welfare, and environmental protection. An interesting fact: Gen Xers and Millennials will inherit over $40 trillion.
- Millennials: These individuals are born between 1977 and 1995, and represent only 11 percent of total nonprofit donating. While they only represent a smaller percentage of total giving, Millennials now make up a quarter of the U.S. population. They are top supporters of human rights and international development, child development and victims of crime/abuse.
- Generation Z: These individuals are born 1996 or after, and will represent 40 percent of customers by 2020. While still very young, 60 percent want to make a difference and 76 percent are worried about the planet. Furthermore, 30 percent have already donated to a nonprofit.
Having an understanding of generational giving is essential for a nonprofit, especially if they want to be the leader of the pack. Software and data can help. With this, your nonprofit can track the giving behaviors of these generations in a more thorough and in-depth way, so you can better engage with Matures, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z.
And once you do that, you’ll be able to target each individual generation by showing them what level of impact your organization has made in a way that engages them the most. Now who doesn’t want that?
Nhu Te is editor-in-chief and content director for NonProfit PRO. She is also the editor of DMAW Marketing AdVents. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.