5 Tips to Maximize Donations and How Each Generation's Giving Differs

There are five different generations actively living, working, playing and more importantly giving in today's workplace. Not all generations are created equal so to create successful fundraising campaigns we should understand and appreciate each one. Here are some generational differences that can make a difference in your nonprofit.

1.  Generation Z (born 1996 to present):  Gen Z, referred to as, philanthroteens, are the youngest givers. They'll make up 40 percent of the workforce in 2020. Gen Z is a generation of givers and donate their own money, volunteer regularly and many are interested in starting their own nonprofit. They support nonprofits that make the world a better place.

Tip:  Get personal with Gen Z:  They are motivated by influencers like internet celebrities they trust and admire, so finding an influencer may be helpful in connecting with Gen Z.


2.  Millennials (born 1981 to 1995):  Millennials make up more than 25 percent of the population and very involved in giving and volunteering. Millennials enroll in monthly giving programs, donate to crowdfunding and are heavily influenced by their peers. Millennials want an experience like 5K runs, cycling fundraisers and other gatherings. They engage in peer to peer fundraising, and ask peers to donate to a nonprofit for their birthday in lieu of a gift.

Tip:  Millennials are very motivated by mobile friendly, responsive design. To engage them make sure emails, websites and all donation pages are updated, current and optimized.


3.  Generation X (1965 - 1980):  Generation X is a generation of continual giving donations and volunteering. This generation represents 20 percent of all annual giving and are most likely to give a monetary gift on behalf of a movement or cause. Transparency is important to this generation so engaging with them through social media and sharing all the ways your nonprofit impacts the world is key.

Tip:  Make sure your website includes exactly where donations go. Stories sharing how their contributions made a difference will elicit trust and generate future gifts.


4.  Baby Boomers (1946 - 1964):  Boomers make up 46 percent of total giving and are the number one supporter of nonprofits. This generation traditionally reacts to direct mail but are now donating more online. They are a generation of volunteering and reoccurring giving and will sign up for monthly programs if asked. Given the right tools, Boomers will fundraise on behalf of your nonprofit.

Tip: Baby Boomers can influence a younger generation of donors when guided and given to tools they need via social media and internet.


5.  Traditionalists: (1945 and before): Sometimes referred to as the Greatest Generation, traditionalists still send donations through the mail and represent 26 percent of overall giving. Direct mail is a proven method to reaching this generation, but it is important to connect with them online too. A multi-channel campaign strategy that includes traditional marketing and online efforts is important to engaging this generation.

Tip:  Traditionalists are responsible, have an excellent work ethic and have a faithful sense of commitment. Keep them involved, engaged, and contributing, and they will be a loyal supporter of your nonprofit.

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