Generations Donate Differently

Posted On July 14, 2011

Studies of generational philanthropy show that different generations give to charity differently, both in amount and in how they choose a charity. Various studies show that donors from the Mature and Baby Boomer generations tend to give to charities that they are familiar with or have a personal connection to. Gen Xers and Millennials, on the other hand, tend to choose philanthropies that support causes that are important to them, even if those causes are far removed from any personal or community connection. So, while a Boomer might donate to a health organization because she knows those involved and affected locally, a Millennial might donate to the same group because he believes in the wider availability of health care in general.

The generations also differ in the amount of their giving. Older generations still lead the way, even though younger generations now make up the majority of the potential donor pool. Millennials give an average of $341 to about 3.6 charities and members of Generation X give $796 to 4.2. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers give an average of $901 to 5.2 groups, and Matures give an average of $1,066 to 6.3 charities.

About two-thirds of donations still come through traditional channels such as phone solicitations or mailings. The other third now comes through online donations. But online giving is increasing. 60% of charities surveyed say they got more online this year than the year before.

Categories: Baby Boomers, Charity, Generations, Matures