Nonprofit fundraising software giant Blackbaud recently released an eye-opening report titled “The Next Generation of Giving: The Charitable Habits of Generations X, Y, Baby Boomers, and Matures”

See the whole report at

Generational Giving Chart - Sandy Rees Fundraising Coach










Why does this matter?

Because people of different ages give in different ways, and they expect different things from a nonprofit.

That means one size does NOT fit all.

Smart fundraisers have known this for years. The data in this report backs it up.


Fundraising to the generations

It’s important to realize that everyone has a preference when it comes to communication and giving. Some prefer to give online while others want to give through the mail.

The single biggest mistake you as a fundraiser can make is deciding to communicate with your donors in the way you like, or what’s affordable or easy for you. In other words, if you decide to ditch your print newsletter and switch to email because it will save money, it could be the biggest mistake you make. It doesn’t matter what you want or what will cost lest. What matters is what your donors and prospects want. Communicate with them in the way they want, and you’ll see more results.

Likewise, don’t make the mistake of thinking “all our donors are older and we need to go after younger donors.” Lots of people are thinking that. Focus on donors who care about your cause and your mission, regardless of their age. Focus on their interest, not their age.

Right now, the older the donor, the more they are likely to give. That means if you shift your attention away from your older donors and onto your younger ones, you may be neglecting your biggest source of giving, which means you’ll start to see your fundraising decline. And that’s no fun!

One really interesting takeaway from the report is that nearly half of people who give engage with an organization in other ways. The days of people simply giving you money are over. Today’s donor wants to volunteer and get involved in other ways. You better get creative about offering donors ways to volunteer or support your nonprofit online.

Post your thoughts about the report in the comments below. How will these results change how you are fundraising to each generation?

Fundraising Giving Channels - Sandy Rees Fundraising Coach


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