How’s That Gen-X Plan Coming?

How’s That Gen-X Plan Coming?


By David Allen, Development for Conservation


Two quick thoughts for you this week – I’m running short on time – it being the season for fundraising and all.

The first is this: We’re all in on Boomers. They are on our Boards. They represent the majority of our donors. They are leaving us in their estate plans. All is good.

And we’re focused left, right, and center on Millennials. We’re creating networking events and video. We’re invested in social media. We’re hosting events aimed at young professionals and young families.

But haven’t we missed something? Haven’t we forgotten about the generation in between?

The Gen-X?

  • Gen-X are sending their youngest off to school.
  • Gen-X are slowing down, thinking about retirement.
  • Gen-X are attending their 25th and 30th class reunions.
  • Gen-X are downsizing.
  • Gen-X are beginning to travel – looking to stay active.
  • Gen-X have more disposable income and disposable time that they have ever had.
  • Gen-X are beginning to think less about winning at life and more about mattering.


We have our plans for Boomers. And hardly a week goes by without someone asking me how to raise more money from and communicate more effectively with Millennials.

But what about Gen-X?

Do you have a communications plan, outreach plan, or fundraising plan that targets Gen-X? (If so, I’d be very interested.)


The second is this: There is still time to raise more money by year’s end. But not if you wait much longer.

It’s a good time right now to take stock of where you are. Dig out your fundraising plan, take a frank look at where you are now, and forecast where you will end up in December.

Line by line.

The forecasting question is simply this: Given what I know right now about what foundations, corporations, and the various segments of individuals have committed, and what I know right now about what requests are still out there, and what I know right now about the requests I will yet write before 12/31, can I still project getting to each of the planning numbers? If not, where will each number end up?

Take each budget line item in turn and “forecast” what the actual for that line item will be at the end of the year. As an example, say you planned for $30,000 to come from foundations this year. And say you have already raised $25,000, and you know that you have another $50,000 in grant requests out there. Maybe one of them feels good for $10,000. Then “forecast” $35,000. The forecast for another budget item might not be so rosy. Be honest. Be conservative.

One client forecast several years ago being close to $70,000 short by the end of that year. They swung into action with three new initiatives – a special appeal letter mailed earlier than usual, a special request of current and former board directors, and a “Mug of Change” campaign whereby members were asked to fill a coffee mug with pocket change between then and the end of the year. The three initiatives raised an additional $40,000, and they were able to hold the line on the expense side to cover the rest.

My point is that if you wait until December 20th to figure out that you’re going to be short – it’s too late. Forewarned is forearmed.

There’s another benefit to forecasting, too. Another Executive Director with whom I’ve worked reported recently that this was the first year in many years that she was not worried about how the year will end. A gray hair saved is a gray hair earned. (That didn’t come out quite right.)


Cheers, and Have a great week.




PS: Alert readers will recognize parts of this second thought as a recycle from a 2015 post. Guilty!

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1 Comment
    Posted at 10:29h, 09 October

    As a Gen-Xer, you are spot on! I’m joining boards and giving much more than I ever have 🙂
    Thanks for thinking of this group! hee