Younger Donors Report Trusting Charities Less Than Older Generations


In raising funds, nonprofits need to take different approaches to their donors depending on the giver’s age since motivations differ significantly between young and old. Understanding these distinctions can empower nonprofits to connect better with donor populations, according to a recent report from GivingTuesday Data Commons. Its research concludes that a traditional one-size-fits-all approach is no longer as effective, necessitating tailored strategies. With 2022 donors and dollars down in the U.S. from previous years for many nonprofits, this adaptation can become crucial for sustaining operations.

The report “Rethinking Resilience: Insights From the Giving Ecosystem" highlights crucial trends for nonprofits' fundraising strategies. It reveals that generosity remains strong, particularly among the younger generation, who also prefer direct involvement in their giving; they tend to support individuals or groups where they can actively engage with the mission. Thus, attracting Millennial, Gen X, and Gen Z donors demands a distinct approach, offering more opportunities for direct engagement and demonstrating the tangible impact of their contributions on the world and local communities through the organization.

The study also discovered that donors increasingly perceive “giving” to include categories like sharing material goods, volunteering time, giving money, and doing advocacy. According to the report comparing giving across many countries, people in the United States most often give items, followed by money, time, and advocacy. The report found that only 8% of U.S. donors gave money exclusively, while the majority engaged in multiple giving types. It recommends that nonprofits prioritize diverse forms of giving, not solely focusing on monetary appeals. 

ECFA accreditation can serve as an additional resource to address the issue of increasing trust, especially with younger donors who exhibit generosity but indicate doubts about “the efficiency and reliability of charities,” according to the report. Skeptical donors can be helped by knowing that ECFA, as a third-party organization, has set high standards of financial integrity to which a nonprofit or church is held accountable. 

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This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.