You and I have heard them called “the Greatest Generation.”

Scholars in the social sciences refer to those born before 1945 as “Matures.”

Either way, these Americans born in the wake of the Great Depression lived through the Great War and became the most productive generation, bringing about much of the America we now inhabit.

If your organization has connected with them, they’re likely among your most loyal contributors.

Who are these people and what makes them tick?

Matures grew up in an era of absolutes:

  1. Marriage was for life
  2. Children outside of wedlock were scandalous
  3. Women stayed home to raise the children
  4. Men were loyal to their employers, often working for one company from entry-level to retirement

This is a disciplined and self-sacrificing generation. They have a strong sense of duty, responsibility, and commitment.

It’s all reflected in the Mature Generation’s fundraising tale of the tape, according to a recent Classy.org post:

  • Matures represent 26% of total giving
  • They have a 24% volunteer rate
  • 11% donate to human rights causes
  • Where religious causes are concerned, 60% donate, 51% volunteer

Matures are top contributors to Emergency Relief, Military Troops, and Veterans Organizations, the Arts, and Advocacy and Election Campaigns.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

As different generations of donors have varied perspectives, motives, and giving preferences, it is imperative for nonprofit organizations and their fundraising professionals to become conversant across the generational gamut.

The more you understand them, the more effectively you can create tailored communications for donors of the Greatest Generation … and engage them.

Next in the series: Boomers — conversing with the hippies to yuppies generation.