Even though the U.S. economy is still recovering, the majority of Americans (60%) still give to charity, according to the Next Generation of American Giving study by Blackbaud. The study looked at giving habits and trends across four generations of donors – Matures (68+), Boomers (49-67), Gen X (33-48) and Gen Y (18-32). Unfortunately the economy has taken its toll on charitable giving as donations have remained flat. This trend is not expected to change anytime in the near future, said the survey.
Can you guess which generation is responsible for the most charitable donations? Not surprisingly Boomers Give 43% of all dollars donated.
Check out some of the key findings from the report.
- 60% of Gen X and Y give to charity.
- 72% of Boomers donate to charity.
- 88% of Matures donate to charity.
- As we mentioned above Boomers dominate charitable giving and will do so for the foreseeable future.
- Gen Y demands the most accountability from nonprofits. About 60% said it’s important for them to see how their donation made a direct impact on a nonprofit. Interestingly accountability is not as important to older generations.
Social service charities, religious, and health organizations are supported by the largest percentage of donors across all generations. It’s important to note the following data emerged across the generations.
- Gen Y is the least likely to support local social services.
- Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to support children’s charities.
- Boomers and Matures are more likely to support veterans’ causes.
- Gen Y are less likely to support environmental causes.
- Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to support human rights and international causes.
- About 50% of Boomers and Matures feel that monetary donations make the biggest difference.
- Only 36% of Gen X and 25% of Gen Y feel the financial donations has a significant impact. It will be interesting to see if this trend changes as Gen X and Gen Y age.
There were also some interesting findings on Direct Mail VS Online Giving. If you have been following the Death of Direct Mail debate, you should note that Direct mail is alive and well, but it’s on the decline according to Blackbaud. “Online giving continues to rise in importance and prominence, with the largest group of donors (Boomers) reporting to give slightly more via online (42%) than direct mail (40%),” said the study. However, it’s worth noting that that majority of money raised by nonprofits today is still through offline channels like Direct Mail. My advice? While you should be growing your email list (recruitment campaigns are great way to do that with communities like Care2) and optimizing your donation pages to increase conversions, don’t run out and abandon your direct mail program.