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Know your Audience: A Breakdown of Giving by Generation

Grandfather with grandson.

Generosity is a concept that is transcendent. People want to contribute to causes that are near and dear to them. In the last decade, organizations have utilized social media as a method to promote their causes and connect with potential donors. While social media has opened many doors for giving, it is important that your message gets out to all of your current and potential donors in an effective way. Here is a breakdown of the giving trends by generation.

Traditionalist (1945 and before)

  • 88% of this group makes some sort of charitable contribution, most likely in a place of worship or local social services.
  • They prefer voice calls and direct mail. These donors are late adopters of email and do not typically use text messaging or social media.
  • They are also most likely to give through direct mail campaigns and donate physical goods.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

  • Highest percentage of overall givers, most likely to give through their workplace or direct mail solicitations.
  • Most likely to make recurring donations with 21% making monthly pledges.
  • They answer voice calls, check emails regularly, and also use text messaging and social media. Though initially slow to adopt new technology, they take to it quickly once they do.

Generation X (1965-1976)

  • Generation X utilizes online interactions with organizations where they plan to give.
  • 50% of this group wants to see the impact of their gift.
  • Email prompted 31% of online donations made by Gen Xers.
  • 19% give through Facebook fundraising tools.

Millennials/Gen Y (1977-1995)

  • Like Generation X, Millennials are impacted by online interactions. 60% of millennials consider making donations with their mobile phones.
  • They are also interested in giving back through retail purchases and supporting socially responsible companies.
  • Millennials are most likely to contribute to work sponsored initiatives, donate via mobile and watch online videos before making a gift.
  • 47% of Millennials gave through an organization’s website in 2016.

Gen Z (1996-now)

  • Like Millennials, Gen Z likes to support socially responsible companies.
  • By 2020, Gen Z will make up 40% of all customers.
  • Generation Zers prefer to use mobile apps when making donations

Photo Credit: Johnny Cohen

Topics: Social Media, Donor Relationships, Resources, Generational Giving