Baby boomers give more to charity than any other age group, accounting for 43 percent of all money contributed by individuals, according to a study published last month. Among the donors in this generation, 72 percent give an average of $1,212 a year to 4.5 charities.
The study by Edge Research, Sea Change Strategies and Blackbaud relied on self-reporting and asked how respondents gave over the past two years and whether they plan to continue the same level of giving.
According to the results, the next-largest group of donors after baby boomers -- the so-called matures, age 68 and older -- represent 26 percent of total giving, with 88 percent of them donating a slightly higher amount, but spread among more charities. They gave an average of $1,367 per year to 6.2 charities.
Generation X, age 33 to 48, represents 20 percent of total giving, with 59 percent of them donating an average of $732 to 3.9 charities. Finally, Generation Y, age 18 to 32, represents 11 percent of total giving, with 60 percent of them donating an average of $481 to 3.3 charities.
The method of giving varies among generations, with 62 percent of Generation Y saying they would donate via mobile phone. More than half of them gave through retail purchases. Compare that with 52 percent of the matures, who say they gave through direct-mail campaigns.
Baby boomers' preferred method of giving is through the workplace, but 42 percent also gave online and 40 percent through direct-marketing campaigns.
Perhaps because they've had time to accumulate more stuff, 72 percent of the matures donate goods to charity. Of the baby boomers, 63 percent donate goods. Popular charitable organizations among most of the generations include places of worship and local social services. The youngest group of donors, Generation Y, prefers children's and health charities.
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