Conversations among church groups often look down upon the perceived giving habits of millennials.
And as the CFO of Bridgeway Community Church, I have found conflicting data from the perceived notion of how millennials do (or don’t) give, and have encountered corroborating evidence from the ECFA. Based on this data, I’ve come up with constructive, bridge building methods to address and encourage millennial giving. I hope this information can be used to create communication that will increase giving in your organization.
Millennials Seek Transparency
Millennials thrive in relationships that are transparent, open, and honest.
Social media has broken down walls between private and public information. And millennials generally don’t have a problem sharing more about themselves online than in person.
If you take this information into consideration for your organization, remember to be transparent on all of your platforms, whether on the stage, online, or on social media. Make sure to have an annual report accessible, don’t shy away from replying to tweets, and stay in the chatroom on Facebook Live!
Millennials are Inquisitive
Make sure that your website is accessible, easy to read, and engaging.
96% of millennials surveyed researched an organization’s website before giving. In addition to checking out your website, millennials are more likely to trust Google reviews and other 3rd party sites for what others have to say about your organization. They are more likely than previous generations to ask their peers for their opinions.
Encourage your audience to review your organization. Even though every review might not be positive, the more reviewers that have an experience with your organization, the more likely the person is to trust whatever the rating is. 60 reviews averaging 4 stars is better than 1 review giving you 5 stars.
Millennials Give because of Who They Are
Millennials give because of who they are, not because of who their parents were.
Only 13% of millennials say that they give because their parents give. Millennial giving, specifically to religious organizations, is to show the love of Jesus. Millennials don’t give to receive anything in return, even though it is Biblical that you will be blessed because you bless others. In the age of information domination, millennials want a reason to give.
As long as you are loving your neighbor through your funds, millennials have been proven to continue their giving. 71% of millennials surveyed said they give to their church because they know their ministry is showing the love of Jesus to the surrounding community.
What does all of this mean? I believe it means to not try too hard. As long as you continue your mission and are honest with your givers, especially millennial givers, you will continue to see a return from that age group.
*Information pulled from the Generosity Project Survey conducted by Campbell Rinker
Survey sponsored by ECFA