According to The Next Generation of American Giving, in 2018 there were roughly 35.8 million Gen-X donors, underscoring that 55% of Gen-Xers give to charity. Per capita, a Gen-X donor gives $921 per year on average and gives to 3.8 charities per year. As a generation, Gen-X contributes $32.9 billion to charities per year.
Data shows that in 2018, Generation X surpassed Matures in total giving, having contributed $32.9 billion per year compared to Matures’ $29 billion per year. According to Pew Research, the overall population of Gen-Xers is forecasted to exceed that of Boomers sometime in 2028, demonstrating that the “Age of X” in philanthropy could be as little as a decade away. As Gen-Xers are sandwiched between Boomers and Millennials, fundraisers should give credence to the different life stages these generations are in. As they age, Gen-Xers are approaching what have traditionally been prime giving years for most donors, while Millennials remain many years away.
In general, the younger you are, the more open you are to a wider range of solicitation channels. Gen-Xers appear to be as comfortable with online giving as younger peers, with 37% of them showing a preference to donate online, compared to 14% that would give by mail. They are moderately less likely to give via social media or Text/SMS than younger generations.
In addition to their preferred giving platforms, roughly one-third of Gen-Xers say that they like to promote the causes they support on their social media pages, followed by nearly half of all Millennials, hinting at the potential for increased social media engagement and peer-to-peer fundraising.
For the foreseeable future, your organization’s primary drivers of financial support may lie with Boomers and Gen-Xers. Pay attention to donors of these ages and be sure that you are supplying them with meaningful engagement. Near-term expectations for Millennial and Gen-Z giving may fall short as these generations preoccupy themselves with making a living, raising children, or finding security in the financial market.