GenX: The New Hotness?

Put the kettle on and get ready to sink into an easy chair for a dive into Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact’s new report, The Next Generation of American Giving. Download your very own copy here.

The first time Blackbaud released such a report was 2010. As you might expect, the world and technology have both changed, so 2018 insights have also changed. Which reminds me: one of the recommendations at the end of the report is a recommitment to testing. That idea from five years ago that wasn’t ready for prime time may work now.

I urge you to read the report yourself (it’s 29 pages, filled with luscious charts, tables, and other graphics)—it’s well worth your time. I’ve read it twice.

Some highlights:

Baby Boomers comprise 43% of all giving. 75% give to an average 4.2 charities. Total Boomer Giving was $58.6 billion. There are 74 million Boomers, according to the US Census Bureau, so even though Matures give a higher average amount annually ($1,235 versus the Boomers’ $1,061), there are simply more Boomer prospects out there

Matures are still giving into their twilight years, but they expect to be giving less in 2018

Millennial giving is a shiny object that can take our focus away from those who truly are in ascendency as donors: GenX.  That generation comprises 14% of all giving.  Millennials are activists, true, but they will not have the financial capacity to make a significant impact for at least another twenty years (when many of us will be sipping mocktails on the beach)

GenXers are the only donors who anticipate they will give more in 2018. Remember when we called them ‘slackers’? They do—and they’re going to demand that we work hard to gain their trust before they invest in our organizations

GenZ is also a force to be reckoned with. The Blackbaud report has insights into why and how these digital natives give.  And yes, they do give

Another thing about GenXers and Millennials: they like to volunteer. I don’t think that means having them answer phones during a pledge drive. Considering that many are in the professional class, I suggest tapping them for their expertise in certain disciplines (they also like to help raise money for organizations through walks, bike-a-thons, etc).

There’s something else about this report on generational giving that really surprised me. I’ll write about that next time.

Barry NelsonComment