A few months ago, I wrote a blog called “Is Your Church Reaching Every Generation?” The post gave 10 key findings about each generation’s giving habits, including online giving and social media usage.
This post was based on a study called, “The Next Generation of American Giving: The Charitable Habits of Generations Y, X, Baby Boomers, and Matures,” published by Blackbaud, Inc., a firm that specializes in products and services that help non-profit organizations.
The study provides both strategic and practical guidance for raising funds for ministry and looks at the giving habits of four generations of Americans: Generation Y (or “Gen Y,” born between 1981 and 1995); Generation X (or “Gen X,” born 1965 – 1980); Baby Boomers (or “Boomers,” born 1946 – 1964); and Matures (born 1945 or earlier).
Based on this report, here are a few key questions you should be asking about your church’s stewardship programs:
Do you value your Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers are the largest generation with 51 million individuals. They are also known as being one of the largest contributors to fundraising efforts. According to the study, more than 40% of all money donated comes from this age group. Make sure you are including those members age 50 to 68 in your campaign plans, and that they feel their input and contributions are important.
Are you paying attention to the up and coming younger generations?
While the older generations currently control most of the wealth, that balance will begin to shift in as time passes. Generation X and Generation Y combined represent 31 percent of all dollars donated. In addition, younger donors are more likely to say they plan to increase their giving in upcoming years. Keep this group in mind as you plan campaigns in the future.
Do your campaigns have a place for both direct mail and social media?
Just like the introduction of television didn’t kill radio, the use of social media hasn’t made direct mail obsolete. Both direct mail and social media have their place in your campaign communication efforts. You can reach younger and older generations by incorporating multiple media channels. Use direct mail, email, social media and the telephone to talk to your donors where and how they want to be reached.
Are you addressing the special demands of Generations X and Y?
Younger donors may expect more from your campaign. They want more transparency from fundraisers, such as more in-depth explanations of campaign plans, financial information, end goals and progress reports along the way.
Have you empowered your most enthusiastic supporters?
Every church has those members who are the most enthusiastic supporters and sing the praises of your campaign. Give them the tools to spread the word and get every member in every pew engaged in the campaign process.
And what’s the most important thing you can do? Listen to your donors. Let your members help guide the success of your capital campaign.
To talk more about the key campaign questions you should be asking, please contact Church Campaign Services by email or call us at 888.558.6873 today.