Understanding Ministry to Aging Donors

The aging population…                                

The famous Social Security bell curve shows the aging of America’s population. When we look at the income being placed into Social Security and payments to retirees, we see clearly — and have seen for years — that there is a shortfall coming.

Ray Lyne of Lifestyle Giving, Inc., describes the effect on the economy and subsequent charitable giving which will result from the changing demographics of America. Some 75% of the economy is driven by retail sales; 70% of retail sales come from buyers’ discretionary income. Most discretionary income is found among people age 47 to 65. As Boomers reach retirement, they will stop adding discretionary income to the stock market and begin to withdraw income from savings and investments. With a decline in spendable income for aging retirees, donations from the average person will begin to decline. This places greater focus on the need to develop high-end donors. But even so, their large gifts will stop at death — unless they are engaged in charitable planning. Ministries unprepared for the changes to come with an aging population will be less effective in the next 15 or 20 years — and some won’t survive at all — unless they are picking up new and younger donors.

*Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, More Than Money: The Truth About High-Capacity Givers 

“Some additional thoughts:  First, Honor aging donors, by bringing caring relational value to them.  Second, Don’t manipulate or victimize them – as they are vulnerable. Finally, Help them leave a legacy by offering to assist them with Planning Giving understanding and professional assistance.” -Gary

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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