Did you know that people between the ages of forty-nine and sixty-seven contribute 43 percent of the total dollars given to nonprofits in America [study]?

That’s right. One group of people, those known as the “Baby Boomers”, gives almost half of all dollars donated. HALF!

That one bit of information alone should make you stop, think about your donor base, and start asking questions. (especially if you’ve got a hunch that many of your donors are Baby Boomers)

Questions you should be asking about your donors

A few come to mind right away…

  • What’s the average age of my donor base?
  • Is the average age growing or shrinking?
  • How do my donors like to be engaged?
  • Do my donors like when I reach out to them via direct mail, email, social media, or other forms of communications?
  • Do they use smart phones? If so, how should my fundraising strategy adapt?
  • Can my donors give more or will they be able to give more in the future?
  • Would my donors be interested in monthly giving?

Baby Boomers, as well as other groups like Matures, Generation Y and Generation X have specific demographics and media habits. Answering the above questions about your donor base and others that come up as you dig in can have a tremendous impact on your fundraising performance.

Improving fundraising performance

Just think of the improvements you could make if you were able to tailor your fundraising asks to each generation in your donor base – the style, the medium, the giving level, and the follow up cold all be personalized so that each fundraising ask you make has the greatest chance at success. You’d be able to treat Baby Boomers differently than you treat Generation Y and Generation X different than you treat Matures. And so on.

I bet understanding you donor base better and personalizing your fundraising appeals would also have an incredible impact on donor retention. Don’t you think?

Learn more about generational giving in America

Blackbaud just published some awesome research along with a super cool infographic about generational giving that shows the communications preferences and media habits of baby boomers as well as Generation Y, Generation X and Matures.

Make sure to give it read and think about how you’re approaching fundraising.  The data may give you some insights into how you can improve … or it might validate your current fundraising strategy. Either way, be sure to come back and let us know what you enjoyed most about the report (or fundraising infographic).

I’ll be back later this week with four concrete tips for improving fundraising performance based on what we learned in The Next Generation Giving Study.

Check out the static infographic, but don’t forget to go marvel over the dynamic version

fundraising infographic by blackbaud

Share The Next Generation of American Giving INFOGRAPHIC on your site

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frank Barry, director of digital marketing at Blackbaud and blogger at npENGAGE, helps nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising so they can focus changing the world. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

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