With money tight these days for most people, charitable giving has taken a hit. It’s hard to be generous when your own budget is a challenge. The result is many non-profit organizations and charities are struggling to get funding. But there’s one segment of the population that scores high in making donations to charities and worthy causes – baby boomers. An article on AARP.org cites a recent study on charitable donations that found boomers to be the most big-hearted.
Sea Change Strategies conducted the research from self-reports provided by 1,014 donor respondents. Mark Rovner, a lead researcher says, “Baby boomers are now the dominant source of income for most nonprofits.” Boomers, when added to the generation preceding the boomer birth year of 1946, are giving almost 70 percent of the total estimated donations to charity. The most popular recipients, the article reports, were places of worship, food pantries, and homeless shelters.
Out of the estimated total annual contributions made to charities by all age demographics, the following is a breakdown:
- Generation Y (age 18 to 32) – 11 percent of all donations
- Generation X (age 33 to 48) – 20 percent of all charitable giving
- Boomers (age 49 to 67) – 43 percent of all giving
- Matures (age 68+) – 26 percent of all donations
Just as giving habits varied in the age groups, so did the rationale for giving to a particular cause. The study showed those under 50 were more interested in knowing the results of a charity’s efforts to help a cause or group. Almost 60 percent of millennials and half of Generation X givers reported that seeing results influenced their choice and decision to donate.
Even with concerns about delayed retirement and supporting adult children, boomers report that they aren’t likely to change their donating habits, with 75 percent saying they’ll continue to support their causes.