Sharing ther Good Fortune: Boomers and Giving Back

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From Focalyst

As the saying goes, for Boomers, “it’s all about me.” Or is it?
While Boomers (born between 1946-1964) have often been referred to as the “Me Generation,” now, having experienced the personal and historical events that define their values as a generation, many Boomers are giving careful thought to helping others. In fact, four in five Boomers say “I have been very fortunate in life,” and this positive view of their lives is manifested in finding ways to sharing their good fortune.
For many time pressed Boomers, writing a check allows them to contribute while conserving precious time. According to the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey, Boomers made cash contributions of almost $100 Billion in 2006, amounting to an average of $6,000 for every Boomer.

Clearly Boomers are generous with their contributions but what are their attitudes about “giving back” to society? Do they believe it is their responsibility to give back? How do they do it? Is it more than just writing a check? Do they give their time? Do they buy from companies that support their communities? Focalyst explored volunteer attitudes and behaviors among a nationally representative sample of over 17,000 Boomers and found that they are “giving back.”
Key Findings:
– Boomers have a desire to give back with time; four out of 5 Boomers say they are willing to volunteer their time for a good cause, and a quarter have volunteered their time to a charitable cause in the last year alone.
– Even if they have the desire to give back in time, many Boomers find it easier to contribute more passively by purchasing products from companies that will contribute a portion of the profits to charity, a positive sign for cause marketing.
– Boomers that do volunteer are much more likely to also be “green” shoppers, as 60% of Boomer Volunteers say they try to buy products that are environmentally safe.
– Age alone is not significantly related to the act of volunteering — Boomers are just as likely to donate time to a cause as are their elders (Matures born 1945 and prior).
– Some Boomers are predisposed to volunteering as part of how they approach life.

FocalystTM ( is a leading source of information and insights about Baby Boomers and Mature consumers. As a Millward Brown specialty practice supported by AARP Services Inc., SM Focalyst offers a broad range of qualitative and quantitative custom research solutions. Focalyst pioneered the largest, most comprehensive study ever conducted about Boomers and Matures and has the unique expertise to help marketers better understand and connect with this important demographic.

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