The secret to getting donors under 40 years old

What, according to fundraising wizard Sean Triner, is The best way to get donations from under 40s?

Wait until they are over 40.

It’s a painful truth that many fundraisers spend a lot of money battering their heads against. People under 40 are tough prospects for fundraising. They’re hard to find. Very hard to motivate to give. Harder yet to motivate to give a second gift.

The charitable giving impulse starts to grow sometime after age 40. Grows stronger in the 50s. It really starts to matter in the 60s and older. That’s just the way it is.

Older donors have:

  • Higher average donations
  • Higher second gift rates
  • Higher retention (especially in monthly giving)
  • Higher amounts raised (in events)
  • Higher chance of supporting an event again
  • Higher lifetime value
  • Higher chance of putting you in their will
  • Higher chance of becoming major donors
  • Higher chance of responding to most of your communications

These numbers pencil out to the difference between success and failure in fundraising.

If you want young donors, aim at people in their 40s and 50s. They are less responsive than those in the 60s and older — but they give larger gifts. And they have the potential to stay with you for a long time.

Be like Sean. Focus your fundraising on older — and getting older — donors.


Comments

2 responses to “The secret to getting donors under 40 years old”

  1. Brilliant. Thank you. For the good of their organizations, fundraisers need to be counter-cultural and value older donors. One strategy: around the conference table, replace the word “young” with “new.” See http://sue.edison-swift.com/newyoung/

  2. Brilliant. Thank you. For the good of their organizations, fundraisers need to be counter-cultural and value older donors. One strategy: around the conference table, replace the word “young” with “new.” See http://sue.edison-swift.com/newyoung/

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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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