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Current State of Charitable Giving: the Demographic and Psychographic Trends


Last week we gave you an overview of the current state of charitable giving. So now that we have an idea of current events that impact giving, we’d like to point out a few macro trends of note.

Current State of Charitable Giving: the Demographic and Psychographic Trends

In addition to the political and economic realities we discussed in last week’s post (Brexit, U.S. election, volatile financial markets), we see a number of additional demographic and psychographic changes taking place in the US that will increasingly impact giving:

  • An increasing aging/elderly population, especially in the 85+ category
  • A growing category of younger donors
  • A shrinking number of working middle-aged donors with greater disposable income than younger and older generations
  • A growing number of multi-race, multi-cultural, foreign born and speaking populations

Each of these groups have specific interests and engagement and giving drivers. Consider how your organization is impacted by each of them and how your organization is reaching each of them.

More macro trends:

  • There is a growing expectation of brands and brand engagement, including the desire for immersive and memorable experiences, and the pursuit of personal, unique and adventurous experiences with brands. How does the quality of your donor engagement compare with the brand engagement of your for-profit counterparts?
  • A donor-centric mindset, where donors desire to co-create products and services and fuse their identity with brands they care about. How are you giving donors the opportunity to own the social good that they are accomplishing through your organization?
  • A growing dependency on social networks and, in particular, friend and family referrals over brand advertising. Trust in advertising is down. Trust in word of mouth is up. How is your organization adapting?
  • The importance of and preference for values-based brands is on the rise. How are you maximizing this opportunity? How are you partnering with for-profit businesses?
  • The primacy of mobile-based engagement, including expectations that technology is intuitive, is always available, and works every time. Are you reaching your donors through the channels in which they use and engage every day?

The current political and social climate together with these macro trends have an incredible impact on your organization. Consider how these trends impact your organization. Next week we’ll discuss areas of concern and areas of opportunity considering the current state of charitable giving.