Who Gave More-Gen X or Millennials?
By Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President
The Giving USA Foundation recently released a new report, Giving by Generation: Examining the Shifts in Giving Among Donor Generations. This well-researched and thoughtful analysis looks at the giving habits and motivations for giving of the four main generations: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers. While our article only includes a few highlights, the full report digs into giving trends between nonprofit sectors as well as the role of social media, mobile devices, and direct mail in giving. Visit the Giving USA Foundation website to purchase the full report.
A few highlights from the report:
- Millennial donors significantly increased their giving between 2016 to 2022. They surpassed Gen X, who gave an average of $1,220, by contributing an average of $1,323 in 2022.
- Boomers still contribute the most, almost double the giving by Millennials and more than double that of Gen X; however, Boomers’ average annual giving declined by 12% since 2016.
- Millennial donors volunteered the most hours compared to Gen X and Boomer donors. Of note, average overall volunteer hours have dropped from 45 per year in 2016 to 28 per year in 2022.
- When analyzing the top three giving priorities by sector for each generation, the research found that Gen Z donors are the only group in which environmental causes ranked in the top three and faith-based organizations did not. Boomers are the only generation in which giving to education ranked in the top three.
How to use the data to grow your fundraising:
This research is a helpful tool to better understand what might motivate your donors or what trends to expect as you set goals. However, we all know that each of your donors is unique and your job is to engage each person in a meaningful way to ignite passions and motivate generosity.
- As you consider the ramifications of these stats and consider whether giving to your organization parallels these results, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Spend time creating a fundraising program replete with engagement opportunities across all generations. Be sure to watch our webinar on cultivation and stewardship for some practical tips.
- Technology continues to play an increasingly important role in giving. Is your website mobile friendly? Does your website make charitable giving visible and easy? Your fundraising strategy should marry giving across all platforms and enable your supporters to easily access a live person to ask questions of, to learn more, and get involved.
- Direct mail provides a tangible touchpoint and remains an important tool to drive engagement and giving. This report found a continued interest in receiving communication through the mail. With the increased use of QR codes, your direct mail can also make giving much easier and faster than mailing a check in a return envelope.
Be sure to stay tuned for the June release of Giving USA 2023 that will dig into the sources and recipients of giving throughout the country.
I am honored to serve on the board of the Giving USA Foundation, and our firm is a proud member of the Giving Institute. We are thankful for the thorough and timely research conducted in this report and grateful for our friends and colleagues at Dunham and Company for sponsoring it.
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