While Baby Boomers may have been overtaken by Millennials as the largest segment of the U.S. population, don’t count them out when soliciting donations.
Retirees are expected to donate $6.6 trillion cash and $1.4 trillion in volunteer services during the next 20 years, according to a report released recently by Age Wave in partnership with Merrill Lynch.
As Baby Boomers like me begin retiring, we are expected to give at even higher rates. And that’s good news for nonprofits smart enough to capture the attention of such donors.
Born between 1946 and 1965, Baby Boomers make up 76 million people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This population surpasses every other age group in terms of charitable donations and is the dominant source of income for many nonprofits.
Interestingly, Boomers are giving less money to religious and spiritual organizations compared to their parents’ generation, the report said. However, Boomers are still much more inclined to support religious groups than Millennials and Gen Xers.
So what does your nonprofit need to know about Baby Boomers like me to be effective?
- Consider highlighting all the ways potential donors can connect with you including online and in-person. This group does their research online but then prefers in-person connections. Provide volunteer opportunities for this mature, experienced labor pool that has time and resources.
- Boomers like me are receptive to traditional and digital marketing that is genuine. Many people in this age group are looking for information and opportunities to connect with a meaningful charity.
- Avoid references to retirement and growing older as we don’t like to think about these things and prefer to sidestep that terminology.
- Many Boomers are still working and seek convenient ways to give. While the report says retired women are the most likely group among Baby Boomers to contribute both money and hours to charity, make sure you are providing an easy way for your potential donors to engage.
- Your nonprofit organization should be transparent and offer information on how donations benefit your charity. Baby Boomers more than any other population segment make an effort to find out how nonprofits use their money before they decide to donate.
No matter whom your nonprofit organization decides to target, make sure you identify your audience in order to use personalized messaging that will resonate with them.