Don't miss this special report in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on how the coming wave of older Baby Boomers is going to transform the nonprofit world: Make Room for Boomers:
Instead of viewing older Americans exclusively as a drain on society who are going to bankrupt health-care and Social Security programs . . . they should be considered a tremendous asset that can be tapped to help solve social problems.
A hearty Donor Power Amen to that!
The report is about volunteerism -- how Boomers will impact nonprofits with their "ask what you can do for your country" social consciousness and their sheer numbers. But the same issues will apply to Boomers' giving to charity. In fact, the impact will be larger, because for every volunteer, there's a whole auditorium full of loyal financial supporters.
This is a huge opportunity for nonprofits, but also a challenge. As the article notes:
... boomers are a fussy bunch, and charities need to learn how to accommodate them. They want positions where they can make a difference, research shows, and most nonprofit groups have not figured out how to offer them those kinds of opportunities, experts say.
Their parents and grandparents gave out of their sense of duty. Their need for information and connection with the causes they supported was low. Boomers give strategically, each one marshalling her charity so it moves forward her personal world-changing mission.
The nonprofits that learn how to support the Boomers' personal missions will win -- they'll win her donations, her volunteer time, and her advocacy. The old-line organizations that think their donors remain duty-bound and disconnected will fall by the wayside.