The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported on a University of Maryland study on four demographic trends among young adults (age 22-35) that are likely to impact fundraising:
#1: Homeownership is falling. Bad news for fundraising as homeowners are much more likely to give and volunteer than other groups.
#2: Fewer young people are getting married and having children. More bad news for fundraising. 54% of young married adults give to charity compared to 36% who live in an unmarried partnership and 28% who still live with their parents.
#3: Fewer young college graduates are volunteering and giving to charity. Also bad news. Giving has declined 9% and volunteering by 4% by this group (from 2008 to 2017).
#4: More Americans than ever have college degrees. This is the one silver lining in the report. While giving by young graduates is declining, there are more of them, and this is likely to offset the decline.
While these trends can be discouraging, it reinforces the notion that fundraisers must be even better at their jobs to retain donors and to capture new ones. Accept the challenge!