$8 trillion up for grabs by fundraisers — including you?

Think about that: An eight, followed by 12 zeroes.

It’s nearly half of the US national debt.

That’s how much US Boomers are going to give to charity over the next 20 years, according to a recent study (Giving in Retirement: America’s Longevity Bonus, reported by The Chronicle of Philanthropy at Baby Boomers Poised to Give $8 Trillion, Study Says:

People give at higher rates after they retire, so extended life spans mean people are in their prime donor years longer than in previous eras, and that is good news for nonprofits smart enough to capture the attention of such donors.

Are you going to get your share?

You can. You can get a lot more than your share, because many (maybe most) fundraisers are not paying attention to this demographic shift.

The study gives probably the most important hint for how to get this right:

… baby boomers are 49% more likely than their parents’ generation to make an effort to find out how nonprofits use their money before they decide to donate, and 44% of them want to direct how their charitable gifts are used, compared with only 15% of their parents’ generation.

This tells us that the old “support the cause” undesignated fundraising is going to run out of steam. (Actually it’s already running out.)

If you want in on the Boomer bonanza, there are two main things you must do:


  • Powerful and specific fundraising offers that clearly show donors what their donations will accomplish.
  • Excellent reporting back that demonstrates that their giving accomplished its mission.

The alternative? Well, it’s just to watch your share of the money shrink and shrink as your older donors leave the stage.


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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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About the blogger

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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