February 8, 2021

Increasingly active young donors favor automated monthly contributions and social sharing: Data Axle study

Data Axle survey of more than 1,200 charitable donors unveils preferences and behaviors to show nonprofits how to tap into the growing philanthropic enthusiasm of youth

DALLAS — February 8, 2021 — Nonprofits focusing on older, wealthier donors should take another look at their younger donor base, according to a new survey report from Data Axle, the leading provider of nonprofit solutions and donor data. More than a third of younger donors contribute to a nonprofit at least monthly, and nearly two-thirds say they actively promote the causes they support to their family and friends. At a time when philanthropic identity is increasingly important to younger Americans, nonprofits will benefit from offering payment automation and tools that enable turnkey social sharing.

In order to understand donor preferences and behaviors, Data Axle, surveyed more than 1,200 Americans who regularly donate to nonprofits. In particular, the study’s analysis of younger demographics – those respondents aged 18-29 and 30-44 — provided a window into growing levels of engagement, use of automation and a tendency toward active socialization.

“This study showed us that nonprofits are leaving revenue on the table if they are treating younger donors the same way they treat their older established donor base,” said Data Axle Nonprofit Solutions President Stephanie Ceruolo. “As nonprofit organizations look more closely at customer lifetime value, they’ll experience greater long-term returns from engaging and nurturing younger donors; even though they might not have as much to give as older donors today, they’re very engaged with and proud to promote their charities of choice via social channels. Nonprofits need to foster that engagement.”

Highlights of Data Axle’s new study include:

  • 48% of respondents aged 18-29 and 41% of those aged 30-44 report monthly recurring donations, compared to 27.9% and 29.3% of donors aged 45-60 and over 60, respectively.
  • Respondents aged 18-29 reported the highest level of engagement with charities across the board, with 60% telling friends and families about causes, 50% volunteering with charities, 36% attending functions and events hosted by charities, and 20% reporting they serve on the board of a charity they support.
  • 21% of respondents aged 18-29 said they’d already made plans for legacy giving, as had 17% of donors aged 30-44. Meanwhile, just 10% of respondents aged 45-60 and 16% of respondents over 60 had done the same.

“In the absence of detailed donor analysis and actionable audience insights informed by donor preferences and behaviors, many nonprofits heavily cater to older, wealthier donors,” said Data Axle Chairman and CEO Michael Iaccarino. “This survey provides an invaluable vantage point on the unique relationships that younger donors have with charities. We’re glad to share these results with the hardworking staffers at nonprofits who will hopefully use them to achieve long-term support for their worthy causes.”

To download the complete analysis of the donor survey results, visit www.data-axle.com/resource/new-best-practices-for-connecting-with-todays-charitable-donors/.

About Data Axle
Data Axle is a leading provider of data and real-time business intelligence solutions for enterprise, small business, nonprofit and political organizations. The company’s solutions enable clients to acquire and retain customers, and enhance their user experiences through proprietary business and consumer data, artificial intelligence/machine learning models, innovative software applications and expert professional services. Data Axle’s cloud-based platform delivers data and data updates in real-time via APIs, CRM integrations, SaaS, and managed services. Data Axle has 45+ years of experience helping organizations exceed their goals. For more information, visit www.data-axle.com.