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    July 22, 2008

    Great site, good info, what else could one ask for?

    A few days ago, my most devoted reader (someone I also like to call "mom") sent me a link to a really neat site: the Giving Forum from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (whew, that was long to type, I wonder if they call themselves FRAG?).

    I haven't had as much time as I'd like to explore the site, but they have some great info, like a report on "Ways People Give" (including giving circles-my newest fascination), and interestingly for this blog, a report on "Donors of the Future" (click at your own risk-will open a PDF), which notes:

    "March of Generations. Giving data related to aging make clear that the country is on the edge of huge shifts in the age cohorts that represent the adult giving population. Eighty million baby boomers will begin to retire in 2011; 120 million generations X and Y behind them (ranging now from 18 to 40) will then constitute both the pool of donors with earned income, and the pool of civic leaders. Lifestyle information on each of these cohorts – what each one feels about politics, work, spending, music, technology, civic engagement, religion, etc – abounds. But there is very little in-depth information available about giving behaviors and patterns. What there is suggests that the baby boomers are less generous than their parent generation, and the generation X coming behind is even less so. These generational waves – in combination with the patterns in the use of the Internet described just below – will have major implications for all involved with new giving initiatives."

    Ok, so maybe this is not the greatest news if one is to assume that based on the above, Gen Yers are even less generous. But even if we are to assume this is true, given we are the coming wave, us fundraisers better figure out real quick how to squeeze whatever we can out of us nongenerous Gen Yers, right?

    "Electronic Donor Communities The scan illuminates two related trends here, each critical to community foundations and other on the ground sponsors of new giving initiatives. The first is increasing donor interest in joining with other donors in informal community to explore and work together on how to be the donors they want to be. These communities, almost all electronically enhanced, exist among virtually every type of donor, and are common across all lines of race, class, sexual orientation, religion, etc. They are referred to as “gatherings” in the scan –“gathering” being the operative word in virtually all their descriptions. The second is rapidly growing use of direct giving portals, which allow donors to use an internet portal to handle all aspects of their giving -- from project identification to due diligence, transaction management, outcome assessment, reporting, and ongoing connection to the beneficiary – and to get a sense of scale from participation with others. Each of these developments may be seen as highly suggestive of the kind of giving relationships and giving intermediaries donors seek."

    So, ok, you may not like it, but you may have to make friend with Network For Good, or Global Giving, and figure out a way your organization can benefit from this "third party vendor".  Or, hey, actually pressure your current vendor into adding PayPal and Google Wallet to your donation page?

    His report also includes some fascinating info on giving from diverse groups, diaspora giving, international giving-strongly encourage everyone to give this a quick read. Even if it is from three years ago.

    Finally, the forum has links to some great Gen Y initiatives, which I plan to learn more about and will of course let you all know if I find anything interesting.

    So thanks again mom! And happy birthday!

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