A conversation in our office today was a discussion on what demographics would we look at to recruit fundraisers, seem as though with the thousands of charities all over the UK who rely on public fundraising to fund their causes. These demographics included; the unemployed, the post-grads, the community-aware type, the part-timers etc. But we realised that there is a demographic (or more of a generation) that we have not included previously. We then started to question ourselves why we hadn’t thought of this before?
With an overall population of 66.04 million, the UK has a percentage of 18% that are over the age of 65(2017). Which is a large factor when you look at the latest stats for retirement; an average retirement age of 65.1 years for men, and 63.9 years for a woman. Which is great! With the UK’s pension scheme as well as the various companies’ incentive to look after their retired employees, it all seems to be good news from there onward. But then suppose the novelty of retirement starts to wear off and it becomes a chore to try fill your weekly diary (for some, not all). According to the NHS website, people over the age of 75 become cut off from society in the UK, and more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and a further 1 million say they go over a month without speaking to a friend, a neighbour or family member. It is heart-breaking if you think of it.
However, how can one of the greatest of generations resort into such a statistic? It seems odd when their life experiences have led them to become a generation of strong work ethics, self-assurance, mentally focused, team-orientated as well as disciplined. Surely these characteristics are what make an excellent fundraiser?
We spoke to Emma and Ilona; our two charity recruitment consultants – and asked them what their thoughts on looking at the baby boomer generation as potential candidates in the public fundraising sector.
“In terms of our private site fundraisers, the elder generation would be the ideal candidate as they would be working indoors. The venues would be local to them, meaning they can engage with their own communities. Interacting with people is a large part of the role and really would immerse them back into their community circles, all whilst working for an important cause. It is so rewarding on so many fronts for people who may already know or work closely with the charity, as well as feel passionate about it, and can persuade others to make such a difference”, they explained.
“Fundraising can also be one of the most social jobs out there, where the sense of comradery drives the whole team to do better each day for their respective charities. People get to meet other people from all over the world, let alone the country. A real sense of team building is going on. There is also an opportunity to travel, if they are able, to other towns and cities. And most charities like to recognise these fundraisers each year at annual events and reward them for their work. There really are no cons when it comes to face to face and telephone fundraising”
It also should be mentioned that the mature age group donates more than any other in the UK. And what better to empathise with this age group than their own. For charities, it would be a good idea to not ignore the most generous generation of them all. They are also most likely to volunteer for a cause as well as attend organised events. As quoted by Martin Campbell for The Guardian in 2013; "Generation Y are the donors of the future and not-for-profits should be embarking on a lifetime's journey with them, educating them on fundraising and engaging them online and via social media. Nevertheless, the number of donors within the Baby Boomer and Generation X age groups signify that they are potentially the most valuable group to the third sector, and the report recommends that not-for-profits pay close attention to their giving and communication preferences."
So, there you have it! NL Recruitment is driving the retirement demographic to be at the frontline of these charities so that the public can engage and get a first encounter with what and who these charities may be working towards. Life doesn’t have to stop at retirement!
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