Blackbaud Newsroom

Generation X Poised to be the Next Big Giver in Philanthropy

New edition of Blackbaud Institute study explores charitable giving trends and
engagement behaviors and attitudes across five different generations 

Charleston, S.C. (April 24, 2018) — Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today released findings from its Next Generation of American Giving study that explores charitable habits and multichannel preferences  of Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, Matures, and includes a first look at the charitable perspective of up-and-coming Generation Z. In the latest installment of this series, last published in 2013, the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact™ shares insight into each age group’s giving practices and potential, top giving channels by generation, and evolving donor expectations, attitudes, and habits.

“The Blackbaud Institute’s Next Generation of American Giving study reveals increasing preferences for tools like mobile giving and crowdfunding, which put the donor in the driver’s seat, showing fundraisers they need to continue to evolve with technology to reach supporters where they are,” said Catherine LaCour, Blackbaud’s chief marketing officer and senior advisor to the Blackbaud Institute. “With the deeper understanding of your supporters and the tools they use, there is no limit to the positive change you can achieve. We offer this study in the hopes that it will help inform strategic and tactical choices in today’s uncertain fundraising landscape.”

Key findings from the Blackbaud Institute’s Next Generation of American Giving study:

  • Fewer Americans are giving, so understanding and retaining the donors you have is more important than ever. With the exception of Baby Boomers, each generation has seen a decline in the percentage of cohort members who say they give to charity since 2013.
  • Giving is distributed across more channels than ever before. Except for social media, reported use of giving channels has declined or remained static across the board from 2013 to 2018. Younger generations are more open to a wider range of solicitation channels.
  • Baby Boomers remain the most generous generation. Boomers say they gave nearly $60 billion to nonprofits last year. That represents 41% of all money donated during that period. Boomers are the only generation seeing a directional increase in the percentage of cohort members who say they give.
  • Generation X is approaching prime giving years. More than 20% of Gen-Xers say they expect to increase their giving in the coming year. A significant number of Gen-Xers report they are in the process of making decisions about where their money will go after they’re gone.
  • Millennial giving is still a work in progress. Approximately 34 million Millennials contributed 14% of all money donated over the past year. Building relationships with Millennial donors is a long-term investment.

“One surprising lesson we learned came from insight on Generation X, and numbers-wise, while the Millennial generation is larger, there are significantly more Xers than you might think,” said Mark Rovner, author of the study and founding principal, Sea Change Strategies. “Regardless of the fascination with Millennials, Gen X is poised to be the next big thing for philanthropy. As the giving baton passes, a debate always rages as to whether giving attitudes and habits are products of the unique outlook of each generation, or whether these attitudes and habits evolve with changing life stages. The Next Generation of American Giving study provides evidence for both perspectives.”

Download the full study at

About the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact
The Blackbaud Institute drives research and insight to accelerate the impact of the social good community. It convenes expert partners from across the philanthropic sector to foster diverse perspectives, collective thinking, and collaborative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Using the most comprehensive data set in the social good community, the Blackbaud Institute and its partners conduct research, uncover strategic insight, and share results broadly, all in order to drive effective philanthropy at every stage, from fundraising to outcomes. Knowledge is powering the future of social good, and the Blackbaud Institute is an engine of that progress. Learn more, sign up for updates, and check out our latest resources at

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

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