According to The Next Generation of American Giving, in 2018 there were roughly 23.5 million Mature donors, meaning that 78% of all Matures in the U.S. population give to charity. Per capita, a Mature donor gives $1,235 per year and gives to 6.3 charities annually. As a generation, Matures contribute $29 billion to charities per year.
While they remain a significant giving force, Matures are beginning to give way to other generations. Though Matures had dominated the philanthropic landscape in 2010, today they have fallen behind both Boomers and Generation Xers in terms of total dollars donated.
Although Matures are declining in number, they remain highly generous. Per capita, Matures donated the highest amount of any generation. It’s also important to note that today’s philanthropic infrastructure, along with its best practices, strategies, and methods, have been centered around Matures as a generation. As younger generations rise to dominance as givers, we should reconsider whether the same tactics and foundational assumptions about philanthropy hold true.
In general, the younger you are, the more open you are to a wider range of solicitation channels. While Matures appear to be as comfortable with online giving as younger peers, with 38% having donated online, they remain significantly invested in traditional donation channels like direct mail—which a whopping 43% of them use. They are far less likely to give via social media mobile device than younger generations.
Matures remain a force to be reckoned with; their engagement in philanthropy significantly differs from the generations succeeding them. Keep listening to your supporters by using the platforms they most respond to, which for Matures may include the solicitations of friends and family, direct mail, and email. Even though reported giving by direct mail appears to be declining, Matures in particular are more likely to view this as one of the most acceptable giving channels, and you should continue factoring specialized preferences like this into your engagement strategy.