Thursday, September 4, 2008

Generation X philanthropy misunderstood

Fundraisers have been complaining for years that Generation Xers - born 1965-1980 - do not give enough money to their nonprofit organizations. However, a study released yesterday says that when Xers have the money - and enough information about the charitable organization - they give nearly twice as much as their Baby boomer counterparts.

According to Northern Trust’s third annual “Wealth in America” survey of high-net-worth individuals and families, "Gen X millionaire households (ages 28 to 42) gave nearly $20,000 in 2006, compared to Baby Boomers (ages 43 to 61) and Silent Generation millionaires (ages 62 to 77), who gave roughly $10,000."

In 2001, United Way of America released a report that said Generation X demanded more information about the charitable organizations they support than older donors. Interestingly, today's survey points to an increase in available online information about nonprofit organizations as one reason for strong philanthropic support from Gen X millionaires.

"The abundance of information about nonprofit organizations that can be found on the Internet and the ease of contributing to a charitable cause, or even starting your own global giving initiative online, is a huge convenience for younger generations, who are generally more comfortable with online giving vehicles,“ said Northern Trust spokeswoman Marguerite Griffin.

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