Where does the time go? Gen X will start turning 60 next year.

And while there usually is a positive correlation to age and giving charitably, non profits haven’t yet ushered the Nirvana generation into high-value donors.

Generation Graph

According to our latest study The Missing Middle Part IV, a survey of nearly 6,000 midlevel donors from 36 organizations, only 13% of midlevel donors are Gen Xers compared to 61% who are Baby Boomers.

U.S. Population Generation Graph

More importantly, we see an underrepresentation among Gen X midlevel donors as an overall percentage in population. Gen X makes up 26% of the overall U.S. adult population (which is slightly larger than the Boomer cohort numerically), but only 13% of midlevel donors.

Conversely, Boomers are overrepresented. They make up 25% of the overall U.S. adult population, but over 60% of midlevel donors.

With the oldest Xers turning 60 next year, it’s arguably surprising that they are not better represented among midlevel donors.

Single Donations

The bright spot? Gen X is financially primed to give.

Xers in the study look a lot like Boomers when comparing their largest donation to a single group. For Boomers, the average largest donation was $12,857 with Xers just behind at $10,586. Millennial’s highest gift was far behind, averaging $3,527.

Net worth

Further, Xers are also nearly as likely as Boomers to have amassed a net worth of $1 million or more.


But that’s where the similarities end. Our study found that Xers are significantly different from Boomers in the following ways. They are more likely to rely on word-of-mouth in making donations, to respond to a personal request from a friend or colleague, to support a cause that has helped someone they know or with which they have a personal connection and to respond to match offers.

With many Boomers deep into retirement and with their numbers declining, a question arises: How will non profits usher Gen X into high-value giving?

We look forward to being part of this generational shift conversation.


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