Younger donors give as much as mature ones, says strategist

Don't invest slavishly in in older donors, Vinay Bhagat tells Institute of Fundraising National Convention

Charities are too focused on attracting mature donors at the expense of  younger supporters, delegates at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention heard today.

Research carried out this year by US technology company Convio found that people in Generation X – defined as those born between 1965 and 1980 – were just as generous to their top choice of charities as the over-65s.

Vinay Bhagat, chief strategy officer at Convio, said at the convention: "Few charities are concerned with their Generation X strategies, but if you are the top charity choice of a Generation X-er, that donor is likely to be very valuable in the future.

"Don't slavishly invest in mature donors. Think through the generations below and how differently they behave."

The company surveyed more than 1,500 people in the US. It found that Generation X members gave an average of £179 a year to their most favoured charity, compared with £185 from mature donors.

Bhagat said his research found that people in Generation X were much more likely to respond to requests from friends and family to support a charity than to cold requests for support from charities. The group were also highly susceptible to emotional appeals for help with disaster relief, he said.

The full report is available to download for free at (registration required).

Helen Barrett recommends

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