Generation X is coming: What fundraisers need to know

Here’s a milestone worth noting: The youngest Boomers are now 50. They’re turning 51 this year. That also means the leading edge of Generation X is turning 50.

This is important for fundraisers. All Boomers will soon be in their donor years, which I define as 55 and up. And Gen X is about to ease its way into our portfolio.

What does that mean for fundraising? Hard to tell, but we learned something interesting from the onslaught of Boomers over the last few years: Life stage trumps generation.

That is, a 65-year-old Boomer donor has a lot in common with 65-year-old donors throughout history. The Boomers brought their own unique culture and expectations that are forcing us to adjust — but they’re more like previous generations than they are different.

That’s the helpful point of this important post at Engage:Boomers about the now-aging Xers: Gen X Is 50; Are We Going To Call Them Boomers Now?

As Gen X people age, we’ll see the same thing: They’ll bring their own different set of experiences with them, but mostly, they’ll “act their age.”

Here’s one way it may play out, according to the post:

Boomers were the first generation to find that turning 50 opened up a new world; neither young nor old, the longevity revolution gave them 20 years to enjoy a stage of life their own parents had not known. Gen X is now learning the same lesson — and they are following their Boomer peers into a new happiness at 50.

Get ready to welcome them to the party!


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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