Research into donor demographics in Switzerland indicates a need for charities to be aware of the challenges generational change can present for fundraising.
With people’s willingness to donate increasing with age, according to the annual Swissfundraising Donation Barometer, charities need to optimise their fundraising mix to ensure they continue to appeal as one generation replaces another as the oldest age group.
Figures from the Donation Barometer and the Federal Statistical Office, prepared and analysed for Switzerland for the first time by Michael Urselmann and Roland Demmel, consultants with FundOpt GmbH show that currently, around 3.73 million Swiss people donate fairly regularly.
– 633,000 Rebuilders (aged 67+ and born before 1952)
– 882,000 Baby Boomers (aged 52-67 years old, born 1952-1966)
– 934,000 Generation X members (aged 38-52, born 1967-1981)
– 824,000 Millennials (aged 23-37, born 1982-1996)
– Almost 460,000 iBrains (aged 9-22, born 1997-2011)
Where fundraising in the 90s was geared towards the Rebuilders, who responded best to print, TV and radio, this age group is now declining with Baby Boomers gradually replacing them as donors. This generation has slightly different values, experiences and preferences.
Michael Urselmann says:
“Growing up in times of economic boom and upswing, Baby Boomers didn’t experience hardship first hand. They are also more political, ecological and consumer-critical than their previous generation, which means transparency and a say play a much more important role for them. The telephone and sometimes the Internet have been added to mail for their preferred sales channels, while their preferred communication channels are email and social media, especially Facebook.”
According to the authors, it can be expected then that the motives and triggers for donating also change to some extent with each generation. To continue being successful in fundraising in the future it states, charities need to ask themselves whether their messages and means of communication are future-proof and which generations their fundraising should focus on.