Kevin Ressler is executive director at Meals on Wheels of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and co-founder of the Lancaster Action Now Coalition. He attends Community Mennonite Church […]
As the number of not-for-profits increases, along with their level of sophistication for donor dollars, churches need to adjust to the changing landscape of religious giving.
Millennials and Gen Xers prefer to give online, while the preferred method of donation for Baby Boomers and older is still the check.
All generations appreciate receiving short emails or letters over other forms of communication, but they differ regarding frequency of communication.
Millennials prefer to hear from the organizations they support twice a month or more. Gen Xers prefer monthly communication, Boomers like to receive communication quarterly or more, and the Mature generation (born 1945 and before) prefers quarterly or less.
This research study by Abila also found that the more concise the content, the better. The top six donor communication forms were identified as:
It should be no surprise that personalized thank-you emails and thank-you notes produced the highest positive or neutral reactions (respondents would love to receive it or they wouldn’t mind). Seventy-one percent of respondents reported feeling more engaged as a result of receiving personalized notes, while only 15 percent felt less engaged.
It’s important for congregations to stay informed and up to date on how younger generations think and act when it comes to giving. What worked in attracting donor dollars 20 or even 10 years ago may not be effective moving forward.
(The data and statistics used in this article are courtesy of research by Abila, and based on an article from Sarai Rice and the Alban Institute.)
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