Gen X most generous donors: Blackbaud study

A recent study into giving across the generations has determined Generation X are the most generous donors in Australia and New Zealand.

Gen X, the generation born between 1965 and1980, gives $2.5 billion to the charity sector each year and comprised 36 per cent of all giving in 2018. Nearly as many Gen Xers as baby boomers say they expect to increase their giving in the coming year.

Boomers make up 25 per cent of overall giving with 61 per cent of them donating. But while general assumptions would suggest older generations are willing to give more due to their life stage as they are wealthier, Gen Z/millennials are an equally significant force, contributing 24 per cent of all money donated over the past year.

The findings suggest they could be a philanthropic force to be reckoned with.

The online survey by cloud software company Blackbaud, also found younger generations are more receptive to a broader range of solicitation channels compared to other generations.

The Next Generation of Australian and New Zealander Giving revealed giving priorities are strikingly similar across generations. All generations prioritise health and children’s charities as well as animals, local services, emergency relief and fire/police/emergency rescue.

For all but the youngest generations, worship is also an important cause.

However, Gen Xers are disproportionately committed to human rights causes as are Generation Z/millennials who focus more on environmental causes.

“This study enables readers to weigh supporters’ intentions and behaviours against their actions. We offer this study in the hope that it will help inform both strategic and tactical choices, especially in today’s constantly changing and competitive fundraising landscape. With a deeper understanding of which giving channels your supporters prefer versus which channels are up and coming, there is no limit to the positive change you can achieve,” said Blackbaud Pacific’s Managing Director, Kevin Sher.

The report also contains recommendations for fundraisers to follow including focusing on the generations that matter today and those that may be willing to increase in the future; getting serious about retention;  solving internal challenges that impact on fundraising effectiveness and listening to your donors rather than just broadcasting content at them.

The study was commissioned by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact with Edge Research conducting an online survey of 923 donors in Australia and New Zealand earlier in 2018.

The Next Generation of Australian and New Zealander Giving is the first study from the Antipodes to offer insights into each generation’s giving practices, favoured giving channels by generation and changing donor attitudes and habits. To learn more, download the report.