Blackbaud Study Reveals Boomers Give 43 Percent of All Dollars Donated, Dominate Charitable Giving


Blackbaud Study Reveals Boomers Give 43 Percent of All Dollars Donated, Dominate Charitable Giving

Report looks at giving, engagement across four generations of donors

CHARLESTON, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Blackbaud (BLKB) today released findings from its Next Generation of American Giving study that explores charitable giving trends and engagement behaviors and attitudes across four different generations - Matures (68+), Boomers (49-67), Gen X (33-48) and Gen Y (18-32). Baby Boomers are emerging as the dominant force in charitable giving, responsible for 43 percent of all dollars donated. The study also revealed that multichannel engagement is the new normal, but the ideal mix varies from generation to generation.

"The way supporters give and interact with nonprofits continues to evolve and change," said Dennis McCarthy, vice president of strategy for Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud. "For the first time, we are seeing a different generation emerge as the torchbearer of giving. This really signals a strong shift is needed in the way nonprofits think about supporter engagement."

Key Findings Include:

  • Majority of Americans give, but overall giving remains relatively flat - 60 percent of Gen X and Y, 72 percent of Boomers and 88 percent of Matures donate to charity. However, most donors say the amount they give and the number of charities they will give to in the near future will remain the same (59% and 70% respectively).

  • Boomers dominate charitable giving and will do so for the foreseeable future - BabyBoomers represent the largest donor group numerically, and as a result donate the most dollars to charity (43 percent of all dollars donated).

  • Gen Y demands the most accountability from nonprofits - Nearly 60 percent of Gen Y identified the ability to directly see the impact of their donation as a critical part of the decision process - this tails off with the older generations.

  • Social service charities, houses of worship and health organizations are supported by the largest percentage of donors across all generations, however, interesting trends emerged across the generations -

    • Gen Y is the least likely to support local social services

    • Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to support children's charities

    • Boomers and Matures are more likely to support veterans' causes

    • Gen Y are less likely to support environmental causes

    • Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to support human rights and international causes

  • Money matters most to charities, according to Boomers and Matures - Almost half of Boomers and Matures feel that monetary donations make the biggest difference, while only 36 percent of Gen X and 25 percent of Gen Y feel the same.

  • Direct mail is still very viable, but it's on the decline - Online giving continues to rise in importance and prominence, with the largest group of donors (Boomers) reporting to give slightly more via online (42 percent) than direct mail (40 percent).

"The majority of nonprofit marketing spend and tactics are focused on Mature donors," said Pam Loeb, principal, Edge Research. "However, we are starting to see a shift as Boomers become the dominant force in charitable giving and will remain so for quite some time. Now it's more important than ever for nonprofits to understand their donor base."

"With changes in technology, the economy and demographic make-up of donors, nonprofit organizations are really trying to get a handle on the right investment for their future success as engagement becomes even more and more complex," said Mark Rovner, founder and CEO, Sea Change Strategies. "The study shows multichannel is the new normal and different generations prioritize their support of a nonprofit in different ways."

To download the full study, visit

About the Study
Commissioned by Blackbaud, Edge Research conducted an online survey of 1,014 U.S. donors. A sample of adults aged 18+ was drawn from a national survey panel of more than two million households. The deployed and incoming sample was controlled to be U.S. Census representative; and qualifying participants reported that they had made a monetary donation to at least one nonprofit organization/charitable cause within the last 12 months (excluding trade union, children's school, alma mater, and place of worship). The survey was in the field May 13 to 24, 2013.

About Blackbaud
Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years, Blackbaud (NAS: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to help organizations achieve their missions. Blackbaud works with more than 28,000 customers in over 60 countries that support higher education, healthcare, human services, arts and culture, faith, the environment, independent K-12 education, animal welfare and other charitable causes. The company offers a full spectrum of cloud-based and on-premise software solutions and related services for organizations of all sizes including: fundraising, eMarketing, advocacy, constituent relationship management (CRM), financial management, payment services, analytics and vertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology, these organizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as a top company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine and honored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

About Edge Research
Edge Research is a premier marketing research firm servicing nonprofits, associations, and corporations. Over the past 20 years Edge has helped dozens of nonprofits move to a donor-centric mindset. Research insights guide clients on how to communicate with their audiences more effectively, retain and grow their donor base, and make the changes needed to cultivate the next generation of supporters.

About Sea Change Strategies
Sea Change Strategies is a boutique consulting practice recognized for helping remarkable causes raise more money by building better donor relationships. Sea Change Strategies has been honored to serve causes including the National Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, International Rescue Committee, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Southern Poverty Law Center and Amnesty International USA.

Forward-looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC's website at or upon request from Blackbaud's investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.

Media Contact
Blackbaud, Inc.
Melanie Mathos, 843-216-6200 x3307

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