Furthermore, times are changing, and each generation adapts to these changes different and at different paces. It’s important for charities to take note of trends and make the proper adjustments to cater to the majority.

A better understanding of donors leads to a better charity.

So how do donors today like to give?


Though donors give in many different ways, ranging from gifts of time, expertise, and treasure, monetary contributions seem to dominate today’s charitable pie.

Donating money is an act in which participation rises steadily with age. For instance, 50% of Gen Y donors make cash donations, whereas 77% of Civics donate money. That being said, Blackbaud research has found that Gen Xers are more active than expected in this area.

Online Giving:

All four generations, more and more, are starting to give online. Over 50% Gen X and almost 50% of Gen Y say they’ve given online in the past two years. This is a substantial raise to the previous study conducted by Blackbaud.

Even though Civics contribute lowest in this regard, which is somewhat expected, 31% of these donors say they have given online in the last two years. That is still a large chunk of the pie.

Credit Cards:

So now that we know donors prefer to give money, and to give money online, how do they want to pay? Credit card. For online donors, over 90% say they prefer to use credit cards. Note: a sizable group of donors (38%) say they’d prefer to use PayPal™ if it were an option.

Small Screens:

What about smartphones and tablets? How do they play into today’s giving methods?

As to be expected, 57% of Gen Y and 38% of Gen Xers say they’d consider donating on a smartphone or tablet, but only 16% of Boomers and 12% of Civics would do the same.

So, although there is some hesitation among the older generations, they are slowly opening up to the idea. And as tablets become the norm, and the younger generations become the main donor base, these percentages are sure to increase in the upcoming years.