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BIG’s Blog: Life Expectancy

We all know that fundraising organizations need a strong “programmatic” approach that both generates new supporters and develops on-going (annual) revenue from current supporters.

Historically, this has been direct mail for many organizations.

So what is the future programmatic approach to develop new supporters as well as developing relationships with them?

For the baby boomer and younger generations, it must be built online.

In four years you must be generating the majority of your new supporters as well as annual revenue online.


Simple.  Life expectancy in the U.S. According to the CDC and the 2010 U.S. Census, average life expectancy in the U.S is now 78.7 years, slightly higher for women, slightly lower for men.

Your current donor base is aging rapidly. Today, the majority of your donors are from the Depression and WWII-era generations. This means that the youngest of the WWII generation, born in 1945, is 69 years old. That’s only a few years away from the average life expectancy in the U.S.

The next four years are critical for your Development organization. You will experience an acceleration of shrinkage in your direct mail-generated file of current supporters from the Depression and WWII generations.

In four years, your growth, as well as the majority of your revenue must be coming from 100% online-generated supporters.

What is your plan to get there?


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