The Boomers are here. The Millennials are not here, yet.
Anyone who's spending more than a cursory thought on Generation Y fundraising is wasting time and money. It's like ignoring the mound of twenty-dollar bills on the table in front of you to go crawling around on the floor for the penny you thought you saw down there.
Listen to Tom Ahern, who knows what he's talking about, at Which is your next priority, younger donors or boomers?:
... age matters. It's not that younger donors are less generous. It's just that they have so much more to buy: clothes, cars, furnishings, homes, education for their eventual kids. Older donors have been there, done that.
A person aged 65 is far more likely to have two things a young adult won't have: (1) enough stuff, and (2) a sense that time is running out.
The Boomer fundraising era started last year. That's when Boomers edged out the older generation as the majority of Americans age 55 and up. (The figures are similar in most Western nations.)
Boomers will be the majority of the donor-age group until 2033, when Generation X will squeeze past them. Boomers will gradually decline in numbers until they are mostly gone around 2050.
The Milliennials, or Generation Y, doesn't show up in the donor demographic until 2035. That means if you are under 40 now, you'll start to see the impact of the Millennial Generation on fundraising when you're old and gray and nearing retirement.
Right now, Millennial fundraising is pretty much science fiction. Theoretically interesting, maybe entertaining to some -- but not a practical way to spend your time.
The Boomers are upon us. We haven't even figured them out yet! That's where you should put your energy. You should have a weather eye on Generation X, which will first appear on our stage in 2020, and become the majority of the donor age group in 2033.
More on the shifting numbers of the generations at How many people are likely to give -- now and in the future.