August 24, 2010; Source: PR Newswire | Fundraisers are likely to be poring over a new report that identifies preferred giving methods of donors by age and demographics. Among the findings from the report, “Heart of the Donor, Insights into Donor Motivation and Behavior for the 21st Century,” boomers and older donors—what the study calls today’s most valuable givers—are more likely to respond to mail solicitations.

Donors aged 25-54, do it both ways, according to findings. That leads Lisa McIntyre, Senior Vice President, Strategy Development for Russ Reid, the firm that conducted the research to conclude: “One thing we find interesting is this nexus in the 25-54 year old group. The donors who will be most important to us in the coming decade seem equally facile with both mail and online.”

Another finding shows that older donors are the most generous. Said McIntyre, “The number of donors in the 18-24 group and 70-plus are comparable, but the 70-plus donor gives three times as much.” The survey also has good news for charities that don’t want to look like they are overspending on salaries and other administrative costs. McIntyre said that donors are willing to support charities that can make the case they have effective leadership, and similarly, they are okay with spending more on fundraising “as long as it effectively raises more money for the work.”

According to McIntyre, only 28 percent of survey respondents said they would “opt for efficiency over effectiveness.” The survey also reveals that people who typically don’t give to charities will respond to calls for help following a disaster, such as the recent Haitian earthquake. Of those who gave to aid victims, 30 percent said they hadn’t given any money to a nonprofit in the previous year, including 16 percent of respondents that survey described as “determined non-givers.”—Bruce Trachtenberg