Monday 26 July 2010

The age of Skiers

Two facts may interest you.

There are now more elderly people in the UK than there are children. The elderly are fitter, more adventurous and less concerned about leaving money for their children to inherit. Referred to as SKIERS, (Spending the kid's inheritance) they spend £100 billion a year according to The Independent, making them a force recognised both by politicians and marketers.

Another development is the growing amount of money returned by the tax office to charities through the gift aid scheme. In 2003/4 the sum was £577 million. Last year, in 2009/10, it had grown to just over a billion pounds, an increase of 73.5%.

Some charities are heavily dependent on Government funding and fear George Osborne’s austerity cuts. Other evidence suggests a fall in the number of private donors. All this means is that charities will have to work harder to attract donors, persuade them to give more often and in a more tax efficient manner.

Who gives to charitable causes?

The Target Group Index shows a marked skew towards the better off, in the social grades ABC1, and older. Many established charities have an average donor age of 70. People give to different causes, depending on the relevance of the appeal and its urgency, so it is possible to establish which cause will attract different types of donor. We analysed the TGI's lifestyle questions and identified seven clusters.

Dyed in the wool traditionalists will support heart, cancer and the poppy day appeals.

Cultured nest builders will contribute to schools and the arts.

Mid life moralists may be more inclined towards third world charities.

What they all have in common is the belief that they can make a difference and that they are morally bound to do so. Maslow in his insightful theory of The Hierarchy of Needs, described them as people whose basic needs are met, who are recognised in their community and have status. They are now in the stage of self-actualisation, when they ask themselves: Why am I here?

Wouldn't it be lovely if we all were in that state?

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