Free: Sign up here for first Agitator Editors Telebriefing, Fundraising in Troubled Times, this Friday, November 21, 2 pm eastern. Details in postscript.



Today The Agitator releases the second in its new series of DonorTrends White Papers. These papers are available to subscribers to The Agitator’s new Premium service.

The second paper is titled Giving Across Generations: The Giving Process. It explores the charitable giving attitudes and behavior of three segments of US donors:

  • Seniors – born before 1946
  • Boomers – born 1946-1964
  • Newbies – born after 1964

In The Giving Process, we look at these questions, comparing the generations:

  • How do donors view charities?
  • Why do they resist or stop giving?
  • What channels for giving do they use and prefer?
  • How committed are they to the charities and causes they give to?

The data in this paper is drawn from an extensive online survey of 1,500 donors we conducted earlier this year. Much of the response data is directly comparable to the similar survey research we conducted in 2005.

Among the findings:

  • A consistent 52% across the generations agrees that overall, the money they contribute is well-spent … is this a glass half empty or a glass half full?!
  • Confusion reigns — in a variety of ways, donors, especially Seniors, indicate their inability to sort out which charities do what … and how well.
  • Less than three-in-ten donors agree that nonprofits generally do good job of documenting the effectiveness of their work.
  • Seniors are most tolerant of the organizations they support (i.e., don’t disagree, become dissatisfied or see more effective group), Boomers are the most demanding, followed by Newbies.
  • Two-of-three donors prefer to give to non-political and non-advocacy organizations, like faith-oriented or service organizations.
  • Direct mail is still the preferred medium for giving for half of each generation.

These generational differences and similarities are analyzed in Giving Across the Generations: The Giving Process, and specific actionable recommendations are proffered for planning your fundraising accordingly.

Roger & Tom


P.S. Three weeks ago, The Agitator began to take the pulse of nonprofit fundraisers regarding the fundraising outlook for the balance of the year and beyond, via our Vital Signs Surveys. You can take the Vital Signs Survey 2 by NOV 19th. Results and recommended action steps will be discussed on Friday, November 21st in a special Editors TeleBriefing on Friday at 2-3pm EST. Free registration here for the TeleBriefing.

This article was posted in: Demographics, DonorTrends / DonorVoice, Nonprofit management, Online fundraising and marketing, Research.
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