[Infographic] A New Generation of Giving
July 09, 2016
As investment expert John Mauldin noted in a recent installment of his Thoughts From the Frontline newsletter, for much of American history it was unusual to have more than four generations alive at the same time. Today, however, we have six: the G.I. Generation (b.1901-1924), the Silent Generation (1925–1942), the Baby Boomers (1943-1960), Generation X (1961-1981), the Millennials (1982-2004), and the Homeland Generation (2005-2025?). As Mauldin points out, the first two "still control a great deal of wealth, which gives them influence, but they no longer wield the levers of power. That role now belongs to the Baby Boomers and increasingly Generation X." That's because boomers, in growing numbers, are packing up their workstations and moving on to encore careers or retirement. As that happens, writes Mauldin, the social and economic influence of Gen X and, especially, Millennials is growing.
Although generational differences are often overstated, generational cohorts tend to share values and a worldview that differ from those of their parents and grandparents. And that, as the folks from MobileCause note in the infographic below, is something every professional fundraiser needs to consider as Millennials emerge as a potent philanthropic force.
How much of your time and energy these days is focused on the Millennial donor? How does she differ from the Gen x or boomer donor? And what, if anything, are you doing to re-focus your appeals for Millennials? Use the comments section below to share your thoughts, tips, complaints, etc....
(And for what it's worth, The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny, the 1997 book by Neil Howe and the late William Strauss on which Mauldin's post is based, is one one of the best nonfiction books I've read in the last twenty years. - Mitch)