We’ve been talking a lot lately about how nonprofits can better reach and engage Millennials on this blog. In fact, much of the recent demographic chatter in the nonprofit industry has focused on this generation. While it’s not intentional, we may be overshadowing and ignoring the single most important generation for nonprofits in the process.
A new study reveals baby boomers have become the dominant source of individual donations to nonprofits. So just how important are boomers to your organization? And how can your nonprofit work to better engage and connect with this essential generation? In today’s blog post, we delve into some statistics that will help provide answers to those questions.
About The Next Generation of American Giving Study
This report reveals multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation X, Generation Y, Baby Boomers, and Matures. The online study of 1,014 U.S. donors was published by Edge Research, Sea Change Strategies and Target Analytics. Learn more about the study results.
Power and Prominence of Baby Boomer Donations
The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported on a new online study that looked at the charitable habits of donors across generations. The study revealed the prominence of baby boomers in supporting nonprofit organizations. Here are some key stats:
34% of all donors fall into the category of baby boomers (defined as those born between 1946-1964)
43% of all donations contributed to nonprofits by individuals come from baby boomers
70% of total individual giving to charities comes from baby boomers and seniors (those born before 1946)
75% of baby boomers say they will support the same number of charities in 2013 as they did last year
42% of baby boomers said they have made an online donation to a nonprofit (more boomers give online than through the mail)
Surprising Rise of Active Internet Baby Boomers
That last stat above is of particular interest and importance to fundraisers. Why? Because while most nonprofits are targeting their online efforts mainly at Millennials, the may not be taking full advantage of the channel when it comes to baby boomers.
About the Reaching Today’s Boomers & Seniors Online Study
In a custom research study, Google and Ispos explore how Baby Boomers and Seniors behave online and what influences their decisions related to societal causes and issues. View the full report.
The common misconception is that boomers are not nearly as activate on the Web as younger generations. While in the past that may have been true, the gap is closing. In fact, baby boomers are actually online a lot more than you might think. A recent study from Google and Ispos revealed just how active this generation is on the Internet:
19.6 hours a week is the average time boomers spend online (compared to 15.3 hours a week watching TV)
83% of boomers and seniors use the Internet to learn more about topics of interest
54% of boomers/seniors watch online videos (compared with 65% of the general population)
71% of baby boomers use social networking sites
Boomers/seniors use social networks to:
55% follow groups/organizations
40% post/watch videos
26% support causes
23% join groups
29% of boomers and seniors use a smartphone regularly (compared with 48% of the general population)
19% regularly use a tablet (compared with 25% of the general population)
Lost Generation of Nonprofit Marketing Strategy?
So the question for nonprofits arises: With all the focus on hooking Millennials and maintaining elderly supporters (long the bread and butter of the nonprofit world), are baby boomers—a central demographic when it comes to nonprofit income—slipping through the marketing cracks? It’s a good question for every nonprofit to ask.
You want to make sure reaching, engaging and maintaining relationships with baby boomer supporters is a part of your marketing strategy moving forward. You also may find that initiating more Internet efforts targeted toward baby boomers—like promoting and encouraging online fundraising—will make a much larger impact than you may have initially thought possible.