The great transfer of wealth: 3 ways to prepare

You have likely heard the rumblings of what is set to be the largest wealth transfer in history. 

A 2014 study by a group of Boston College researchers predicted that, by 2061, $58 trillion would transfer from one generation to the next, meaning millennials will hold 5x as much wealth as they do today. This is set to significantly impact the landscape of giving.

Nonprofit organizations can proactively prepare for this shift by cultivating better relationships with the younger generations – Millennials and Generation Z. If you’re sitting here in a panic trying to sign up for TikTok, don’t worry. You’re going to be speaking to a very receptive audience. According to the Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report, over 84% of millennials have made charitable donations, and 70% have given more than an hour of their time to their favourite charities.

They’ve proven that they’re ready and willing to give to causes they believe in. But what do they believe in? And how can your organization adapt its outreach strategies to ensure you don’t fall through the cracks during this transfer? 

Join us on June 23 at 1pm ET / 10am PT in this data-driven session where you will learn how to implement key donor cultivation and fundraising strategies to attract and retain younger donors. Register free here.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn in the webinar. 

Invest in youth

Did you know that 90% of interviewed millennials believe that a compelling mission or cause – not an organization – is what motivates them to give? 

With the rise of social media activism and tools like Go Fund Me, young people are able to effect change without the help of nonprofits. In fact, the popularity of Peer-to-Peer platforms highlights that traditionally boomer-centric giving elements like charitable status and tax receipts don’t mean as much to this generation.

What you can take away from this is that it’s crucial for nonprofits to provide young people with a platform to advocate for their passions and engage with their peers. To do this, nonprofit professionals must design opportunities specifically targeted toward young people. 

Build family connections

Around 88% of all nonprofit funds come from just 12% of donors— your major donors. 

This is in line with the 80/20 rule of fundraising, which dictates that you should invest approximately 80% of your time into your top 20% of donors. These major donors are going to receive a lot of attention and special access to your organization, but it’s important not to create silos.

Here’s a tip: if you’re inviting a major donor to an event, site tour, or taking them out to dinner, don’t forget to invite their families as well. This will set the stage for you to ask their families what their interests and passions are. Worst case scenario, your major donor will appreciate the hospitality, whereas best case scenario, you’ll forge meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime. 

Focus on planned giving

While much of the wealth transfer will be passed down generationally, it’s important for fundraisers to have the resources, strategies, and technology to develop an effective planned giving infrastructure. 

That’s because more than $6.3 trillion of the wealth transfer is projected to reach charities as bequests. However, the challenge lies in creating targeted planned giving strategies that will pinpoint, motivate and increase the likelihood of donors including you in their wills. 

From segmenting your database to establishing key relationships, learning how to talk about death, and even sharing some creative bequest ideas with donors are just a few of the ways you can promote planned giving. 

The Great Transfer of Wealth is coming whether your organization has started preparing for it or not. With a few tweaks to your existing stewardship strategies, supplemented with new technology, you’ll not only be able to stay afloat of the generational shifts in giving behaviours, but sail into the coming years with confidence. Make sure you save your spot.

If you’re looking for more ways to build resilience, agility, and sustained success in the nonprofit sector, download this comprehensive fundraising trends guide for tips, strategies, and checklists to prime your organization for success for the Great Transfer of Wealth and beyond. 

A storyteller by nature and an organizer by inheritance, Samantha Lego enjoys crafting meaningful content equally as much as colour coding spreadsheets. As the Marketing Director at Keela, a Canadian Fundraising-Specific CRM, she is always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to educate nonprofits and help them maximize their impact.