Longer life — How is your organization preparing?

baby boomers

by George Rattin, Associate Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions

An article appeared recently in the Chronicle of Philanthropy pointing out a change that is quietly happening on a daily basis–the aging of Americans.  The article states that each day, 10,000 members of the Baby Boom generation turns 65.  This trend is expected to continue through generations x, y and millennial.  This brings up some very important facts that organizations and their fundraising programs must consider.  Do you have programs in place that appeal to those at retirement age?  If you do not have a planned giving program in place, this is the time to start!  Bequests are the most common form of planned gifts and tend to be one of the more simple estate gifts to put in place, however, if you do not set a program in place, recognize and market this opportunity, you leave to chance this impactful tool that will become increasingly important as society ages.

Additionally, the diversity of the generations is changing.  People of color represent 21% of Americans 65 years of age or older yet 50% of children five years of age or younger come from this demographic.  How do you bridge this divide?  If those supporting your organization lack a real understand of the culture, similarity and differences of those you serve–will they find your mission as impactful?  Organizations are looking at programs that connect the older generations with the younger to promote greater understanding and engagement.

As we look forward to a time where people are living longer and the number of retired Americans is growing, how will your organization fundraise successfully and engage this aging generation?  Now is the time to ask these questions and put in place the programs that are effective to this growing age group and allow them to engage and understand your mission.


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