Giving to Religion May Never Recover! That is the assumption of Giving USA in a recent report and the title of my last blog post. I stated that the decline in giving was related to many factors one of which I stated was…
The demographics of the Church has shifted. The Builder generation is moving off the stage and even Baby Boomers are near exiting. Younger generations of Christians, while showing signs of generosity, none the less do not necessarily give to the local church. Thus this shift alone creates a major challenge for religion to ever reclaim its peak.
To combat the decline in giving to the Church we must engage Millennials! Let me reinforce this statement with some facts. The first point is in my quote above, the fact that the generous generations are moving off the stage being replaced by the future.
Secondly consider that at about 80 million strong, by 2017 these Americans, born between 1980-2000, will have more spending power than any other generation before us. So if we are to continue to fuel our missions and ministry projects for the future we had better figure out how to engage and motivate this generation to generosity. Let me give you two starting points for engaging Millennials.
Connect them to your churches story. Your church does amazing things to help people not just in your immediate area but around the world. So, tell the story of what you are doing. The 2011 Study Millennial Donor Survey found that 85% of the respondents were motivated to give to a charity based upon a compelling mission or cause. Consider this fact, “Members of the Millennial generation are more likely than any other generation to cite the “desire to make the world a better place to live” as a key motivator for their philanthropic giving.” http://nonprofit.about.com/od/donorrelations/a/youngdonors.htm
So, tell the story of how the Church, your church is working to make this a better place. Who do you think built all the hospitals, did all the relief work, feeds the poor, etc. etc. etc.? The Church has, is, and will continue to be the best place to give to if you want to change the world!
Use technology. Consider these facts from artez.com…
- 77% of millennials have smartphones
- 65% of millennials prefer to learn about a cause from a nonprofit’s website
- 55% of millennials prefer to learn about a cause on social media
- 70% prefer to give online
Listen to a Millennial blogging about this who stated the following…
I hope this is a given, but if you’re avoiding social media and technology, you need to come out from under your shell ASAP. Go experiment personally. Sign up for a personal Twitter account, see what Pinterest is all about, and keep up with what’s new in the industry by reading social media blogs (like this one). But please act like a human. Be genuine. We don’t respond well to the fakes. And if you really want to understand millennials, you have to learn how to use a smart phone. We don’t know what life is without an iPhone in our hand, and of the 34 percent of us who make direct donations to causes, almost half donate using their mobile device. http://social.razoo.com/2012/12/5-things-nonprofits-must-do-to-captivate-millennials/
What about your church? Are you positioning yourself and your church to continue being fully funded? How do you stack up to the above? It doesn’t matter if you are large or small all of us must adapt or die. It is a proven fact that Millennials will give if engaged correctly. What are you doing to engage them?
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions