Is Your Church Reaching Every Generation?

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 9.05.55 AMBlackbaud, Inc., a firm that specializes in products and services that help non-profit organizations, published a study called, “The Next Generation of American Giving: The Charitable Habits of Generations Y, X, Baby Boomers, and Matures.”

The study looks at each of these generation’s giving habits, including online giving and social media usage.

Here are 10 key findings from the study:

1. Most Americans give. Matures are the most generous generation. A greater percentage of Matures give, and they support a greater number of causes than younger generations. On average, individual Mature donors also give more money to the causes they support.

2. Baby Boomers are biggest givers. Boomers will exert an outsized influence on charitable giving for the foreseeable future. Representing roughly one-third of all
adults who give, Boomers contribute 43 percent of all the dollars donated.

3. Giving remains level. Most donors across all age groups do not plan to expand their giving in the coming year.

4. Multichannel is the new normal. While all generations are multichannel in their communications habits, the ideal mix varies from generation to generation.

5. Direct mail is still important. Direct mail is far from dead, but it also won’t last forever. Generations Y and X are far more likely to give online, and as many Baby Boomers say they give online as via direct mail.

6. Younger donors want details. Generation Y donors have distinct priorities and preferences with regard to causes they support. Notably, they are far more likely to demand accountability and transparency than older donors.

7. Social media matters. The value of some channels (e.g. social media), is undervalued if measured by transaction metrics, as opposed to by engagement.

8. Telemarketing on the decline. Among transaction channels, the future looks cloudy for telemarketing and giving via SMS/text.

9. Crowdfunding gains popularity. Peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding, on the other hand, appear to have promising futures as fundraising strategies.

10. Think beyond monetary donations. Nearly half of those who give engage with causes in ways other than making donations.

For assistance in reaching every generation with your church’s capital campaign message, please email or call Church Campaign Services at 888.558.6873 today.