Older Donors Are Better Donors

In the never-ending quest for a “newer younger audience” arts professionals sometimes lose sight of fundraising opportunities right in front of their very eyes. Recently I met with a client that has not aggressively courted its audience — ever — because they are convinced (for all sorts of reasons they firmly believe), that their current audience won’t give. But if you’re not asking, you won’t know for sure, which is what I told them.

This post is motivated by an article I recently came upon from Fundraising Fundamentals, Tobin Aldrich’s (mostly) fundraising blog. He points out the same argument – how do you know if your donors aren’t going to give if you don’t ask? But more relevant is Tobin’s assessment of the often heard “my donors are old…”

What happens when all your lovely old donors die. Well, first of all that means a great legacy opportunity. But yes you do need to continue to recruit new donors because people do die and they stop giving for other reasons. That doesn’t mean you replace your eightysomethings with teenagers. Replace them with people as close to them in characteristics as possible, that probably means getting donors who are a bit younger but closer to 75 than to 25. If anyone says to you “but children are the future”, say yes they are and we will target them in 40 years time when they’ve got some money.

I hope you’ll give the rest of the article a quick read, I certainly found it motivating and smart.

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