Next Generation of Canadian Giving Means Opportunity for Nonprofits
Toronto, Canada (December 16, 2010) — A research study into the charitable giving habits and attitudes of Canadians — the first of its kind for the Canadian market — reveals how donors of different generations learn about nonprofit organizations, their preferred channels for engagement, the most appropriate channels for fundraising, and who and what influences their giving decisions.
The study, based on a major national survey conducted just before Labor Day, was released today by hjc, Strategic Communications Inc. and Convio.
Key findings include:
- Boomers (aged 46-65 years old) and members of Generation X (30-45 years old) represent significantly higher donor pools than those over 65 (Civics), with total contributions for Gen X being on par with Civics.
- 3.2 million Civics provide average contributions of $833, for estimated $2.6B in annual contributions,
- 5.7 million Boomers provide average contributions of $725, for estimated $4.1B in annual contributions,
- 4.2 million Gen Xers provide average contributions of $549, for estimated $2.3B in annual contributions,
- 2.7 million Gen Yers provide average contributions of $325, for estimated $0.8B in annual contributions
- Canadian donors give through many different channels with online surpassing direct mail because of its dominance as a preferred channel for younger donors:
- 58.1% of donors have given a donation at a checkout within the past 12 months
- 41.3% gave at fundraising events
- 33.8% gave tribute gifts (that is, gifts in memory as a recognition of another person)
- 32.8% shop at charity gift shops
- 32.1% gave online via the charity website (41% for Gen Y and 37% for Gen X)
- 26.7% mailed a gift
- All generations report that mainstream media (newspaper, radio, television) is still how they first learned about a charity they currently support – a clear reminder that in the world of social media, traditional awareness-raising through traditional media is still very important. For Boomers and Civics mail was the second most common way they learned about a charity, while Gen Y and Gen X rely more heavily than older donors on friends, family and peers to learn about organizations.
“This study is the first of its kind that has shown, with quantitative data, that Canadian donors in different age segments want to be communicated with in different ways,” explained Michael Johnston, founder and president of hjc. “It is critical that nonprofits develop strategies to address each generation so that they can attract and retain new donors, without compromising revenue from their existing donor base. Nonprofits can take the information from this study and implement it in a framework that makes sense for their organization and donors.”