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Boomers, seniors most likely to donate to charity

August 12, 2013

Financial planning is an important part of preparing for retirement, and results of a new study suggests seniors are likely factoring in how much money they donate to charity. Researchers from nonprofit software company Blackbaud found that both boomers - those aged 49 to 67 - and seniors 68 and older are considerably more charitable than their younger counterparts.

The study relied on the responses of more than 1,000 people who took an online survey earlier this year and compared the charitable spending habits of four groups: boomers, mature, Generation X and Generation Y. Researchers found that boomers were responsible for about 43 percent of all money donated, while matures contributed the second-most at about 26 percent. Additionally, experts estimate that boomers comprise about 34 percent of the donor base.

Researchers also determined what the most popular charities were among older adults. Although social service charities, houses of worship and health organizations were popular among all generations, older respondents were more likely to provide support to veterans' charities. 

The likelihood of older adults to donate money to their favorite causes should not come as much of a surprise given their willingness to volunteer. In 2012, adults 65 and older accounted for about 24.4 percent of the volunteer force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the Corporation for National and Community Service makes it especially easy for the 55-and-over crowd to find the perfect volunteer opportunity thanks to Senior Corps. The organization helps older adults by connecting them with charities that need them the most, and it also helps them cultivate the skills necessary to give back to their community.