The generation of donors you should be watching closely

To read a lot of the fundraising blogs, you might get the idea that there are two groups you need to even think about: Boomers and Millennials.

Thinking this way just might scuttle your growth in the next few years, because there’s a whole other generation in between those two, and they are starting to matter a lot to serious fundraisers.

Generation X. People born from 1965 to 1983.

As the GroupThinkers blog notes, Gen X is ready to be the next great giving generation.

The leading edge of the generation is now in their mid-50s. Just entering the Donor Years. That’s the first reason to pay attention to them.

A second reason: There are a lot of them. 79 million. (Compared to the 65 million Baby Boomers).

And yet they are often stereotyped as unlikely to be good donors:

Viewed as slackers, cynical and complicated. The first latchkey generation. The middle child. Classically overlooked.

The stereotypes reveal nothing.

Marketing to generations is not likely to pan out well. Market to people. And if you’re fundraising, that means mainly older people who care about making the world a better place.

Generation X people are now pouring into the donor demographic. You’ll start encountering them on your list. Watch them!


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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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