Why is knowing the average age of your donors keenly important? Because, obviously, 75-year-olds don’t subscribe to Teen Vogue. Our interests change throughout our lives. We change throughout our lives. Age matters in fundraising. You as a 20-something are different from you as a 40-something – are different from you as a 60-something – are different from you as an 80-something. And not just different physically, but different emotionally.
Geriatric specialist, David Solie, author of How to Say It to Seniors, points out that as people age into their 70s, two issues become paramount:
- the fight for control
- the search for legacy.
“To maintain control is a primary driver for the elderly,” he writes, “because each day, they feel losses—of strength, health, peers, and authority—that are staggering.” But there’s something “equally compelling … on the old-age agenda—the search for a legacy.” Be aware: “Every day, every hour, whether they mention it or not, the seventy-plus age group is reviewing their lives.”
This intense internal life review has important implications for fundraising. Ultimately, seniors who successfully complete their life review will want, says Solie, “to be remembered for the things