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The 21st Century Donor – New Report

Monday, 8th October 2007 at 3:45 pm
Staff Reporter
The 21st Century Donor is richer, more engaged, more discerning, and more in control than her 20th Century predecessor according to a new UK study.

Monday, 8th October 2007
at 3:45 pm
Staff Reporter



The 21st Century Donor – New Report
Monday, 8th October 2007 at 3:45 pm

The 21st Century Donor is richer, more engaged, more discerning, and more in control than her 20th Century predecessor according to a new UK study.

Given those facts how will the Not for Profit sector respond to meet the challenges ahead?

The report prepared by research group, NFPSynergy wants charities of all sizes to think about the future and the fundraising strategies they will need to maximise income so as to meet those challenges ahead.

It says that giving to a cause that donors care about passionately will increasingly be as much part of many (rich) people’s lifestyles as mortgages, second homes and holidays. To make this a reality fundraisers need to understand what their donors want, their lifestyles, their worries, their wealth, and their needs.

In the world of the 21st Century Donor there is no such thing as donor fatigue, only fundraising fatigue, according to the report’s authors Joe Saxton, Michele Madden, Chris Greenwood & Brian Garvey.

They say that how much can be raised is not limited by how much people will give but to what extent fundraisers can make the giving experience as rewarding as the foreign holiday, the evening out or the extra indulgence at the supermarket.

The report says that those fundraisers at the cutting edge will increasingly use more sophisticated segmentation. They can no longer assume that a 55 year old woman married to a doctor is an empty nester, ready to take on a life of voluntary work and civic duties. Organisations have to ask.

More importantly, the report says segmentations may take no notice of demography but be entirely about attitude. These attitudes may be about the cause itself, the nature of society, or the price of organic eggs!

Their importance is that certain attitudes demonstrate a relationship with giving, to charities in general or to a cause in particular, while cutting across gender, class and age.

The report says charities will need to have a much more fine-grained approach to audience targeting together with a more fine-grained approach to motivating them.
As well the report says to be successful Not for Profits must mimic business by creating brands that are distinctive and can compete in the marketplace.

For the more discerning donors, charities must show the impact their programs have, while offering a wider selection of ‘giving products’ for donors to choose from.

The report says donors in the 21st century want more control of how their money is used and they want to know what they will receive in return for their gift including recognition, involvement or something more tangible.

The authors say that the overall climate for fundraising has everything going for it. Wealth is growing and with growing wealth comes a growing wish by donors to make a difference. Charities deliver services that change people’s lives and politically charities have never been more important.

Will fundraisers raise more money? Undoubtedly they say. The limit is not donor fatigue or public wealth, but the ability of fundraisers to understand their donors and to connect them with the causes they care about. Nurtured, understood, listened to,
and cared for, the 21st Century Donor will help the 21st Century Charity flourish.

The full NFPsynergy report and a shorter Executive Summary can be downloaded separately on their website. They are both free documents but require a quick registration process. Go to:


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