When it comes to charitable giving, who is the most generous generation?
Not so fast, baby boomers. The so-called “matures” have you beat. Turns out they are the “Greatest” at charitable giving, according to a report by Convio, Edge Research and Sea Change Strategies.
Matures represent the smallest proportion of the population (39 million) but 79 percent make charitable contribitions, compared with 67 percent of the 78 million baby boomers, 58 perent of the 62 million Gen X-ers, and 56 percent of the 51 million Millennials.
The matures give, on average, $1066 annually to 6 charities, while baby boomers contribute $901 to an average of five charities, Gen Xers contribute nearly $800 to an average of four charities, while Millennials donate an estimated $341 to almost 4 charities.
The average gift to an individual's top charity also decreases with wealth, from $280 from Matures to $161 from Millennials. As the oldest generation dwindles, younger potential doners must be encouraged to fill the void.
How do the different generations initially engage with a charity? Mail ranks as the primary vehicle for matures as well as among the first three choices for boomers and Gen Xers (the other two are mainstream media and word of mouth). It’s not even on Millennials’ radar.
The study also finds, not surprisingly that the opposite ends of the age spectrem have different preferences for actual charitable giving. The matures still prefer old school methods, primarily mailing a check, while Millennials and Gen-Xers are most likely to take advantage of 21st century platforms, such as donating via a website or through mobile technology.