Spotlight Exclusives

Baby Boomers Put the Count into Discount

Spotlight Team Spotlight Team, posted on

Most of us know baby boomers. Some of us may be boomers ourselves. So, test yourself and pick what۪s true about boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) from the list below:

– When the youngest boomers hit retirement in 2030, they will make up 20 percent of the U.S. population

– About 8,000 boomers hit retirement each day

– Seniors can get discounts for goods and services from at least 250,000 local businesses

– Ben & Jerry’s offers a 10% discount to those over 60 years of age

– A new national movement gives Baby Boomers with the means to reinvest some or all of their senior discount savings back into their communities

Answer: all of the above.

Wisdom comes with age. When David Harrison retired as director of the Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs, he, along with his wife Cindy and some friends, deployed that wisdom and put boomers and their discounts together to create “Boomerang Giving.”  Here’s how it works: older people who can afford to forgo seniors۪ discounts from movies, transit, restaurants, Ben & Jerry’s and other companies direct those discounts to charities of their choice.  As Harrison noted in a recent New York Times story about Boomerang Giving:

“We think the idea of providing baby boomers and older Americans the chance to give back۪ through donating discounts will become commonplace.”

Out of the Spotlight
admires the creativity of this new effort and hopes that many seniors join the movement and support charities that help struggling families.

Boomerang Giving joins a number of other innovative enterprises in developing new ways for individuals to make a difference in their communities. Spotlight, for example, has highlighted the work of Benevolent, which crowd-sources funding to help struggling individuals finance the barriers to opportunity — such as the costs of a uniform or tools required for a new job or transportation costs to employment.

The donations, while individually small, can make an important difference in the lives of these individuals and the organizations that support them. OOTS also hopes that those who give will not only gain a greater sense of community, but will press for bigger community and national investments that spur wide scale change.

Are you a senior? Know a senior? Be sure to get the word out about “Boomerang Giving.” And, if you get wise and come up with your own novel way of supporting families that are struggling be sure to let us know!

Posted by Jodie
Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn’t always make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latest political developments and their impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

« Back to Spotlight Exclusives