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New Generation of Canadian Donors – Report


Friday, 20th September 2013 at 10:44 am
Staff Reporter, Journalist
Generation X is a rising force in philanthropy in Canada — quickly gaining on Boomers and Civics, currently the most generous generations, according to the latest research.

Friday, 20th September 2013
at 10:44 am
Staff Reporter, Journalist


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New Generation of Canadian Donors – Report
Friday, 20th September 2013 at 10:44 am

Generation X is a rising force in philanthropy in Canada — quickly gaining on Boomers and Civics, currently the most generous generations, according to the latest research.

A report by global software provider Blackbaud and Not for Profit Consultancy hjc called 2013 Next Generation of Canadian Giving uncovers the preferred giving and communication channels of four generations of Canadian donors: Generation Y (18-32); Generation X (33-48); Baby Boomers (49-67); and Civics (68+).

The study is based on a major national survey of more than 800 Canadian donors.

The survey found that the vast majority of donors across all four generations say they do not intend to add new causes to their giving portfolios in the coming year, and a majority of donors say their overall giving is unlikely to increase.

It found that younger donors, however, are more likely than either Boomers or Civics to say they plan to increase their giving in the coming year: 22 per cent of Gen Y and 13 per cent of Gen X say they will give more, compared with 6 per cent of Boomers and 10 per cent of Civics.

As well, Generation X donors also predict their giving to their top charity will grow by an average of $84 in the coming year, compared with a predicted average decline by Civics of $4.

“It is critical for Not for Profits to address each generation so that they can attract and retain new donors without compromising revenue from their existing donor base,” said Michael Johnston, founder and president of hjc said.

“This study provides both strategic and practical guidance for fundraisers by demonstrating how Canadian donors in different age segments want to be communicated with and how they typically respond.”

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Gen X is giving in high numbers and is an important generation to watch;

  • Multichannel is the new normal. While all generations are multi-channel in their communications habits, the ideal mix varies from generation to generation;

  • Direct mail is far from dead, but it also won’t last forever.  Gen Y and X are far more likely to give online, and as many Baby Boomers say they give online as via direct mail;

  • Generation Y has distinct priorities and preferences with regard to causes they support. Notably, they are far more likely to demand accountability and transparency than older donors;

  • The value of some channels, for example social media, is undervalued if measured by transaction, as opposed to engagement, metrics.

Differences between Canadian and United States donors

Because the study was based on similar studies into the habits and preferences of American donors, it also provides insight into the differences between Canadian donors and their American counterparts.

For example, support for advocacy organisations in the US is almost double that in Canada, and support for military troops/veteran organisations is about three times greater in the US. However, Canadians are far more likely to support health and children’s charities than their American counterparts.

“The way supporters in both the US and Canada give and interact with nonprofits continues to evolve,” Dennis McCarthy, vice president of strategy for Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud, said.

“It serves as a reminder that, as fundraisers, we need to establish an integrated suite of tools and channels to engage people across multiple generations now and start planning for the future.”

To download the full study, visit www.hjcnewmedia.com/nextgencanadiangiving2013.


Staff Reporter  |  Journalist |  @ProBonoNews


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