There was a time when a sermon on giving and the passing of the plate were all the “donor messaging” a church needed. However, generational, economic, spiritual, and social climates continually shift. With a national tithing rate of 2.5%, ministry leaders must use a more comprehensive approach to facilitate the simple biblical principal that members fund the church through tithes and offerings.
Nowadays, donor messaging is not just the “ask,” it’s the total package of:
- The tone of the church’s presentation of need (inspiration vs. obligation)
- The church’s teaching on tithes and offerings
- The perceived level of transparency about church expenditures and budget focus
- Available giving modes
- Frequency and timing of reminder messages
- Placement of giving reminders (signs, links, bulletin icons)
- Personal acknowledgment and gratitude for donations (or lack thereof)
Reviewing generational tendencies can help churches create intentional messaging that better connects with different age groups. You’re probably familiar with these groups, but you might be surprised where they stand with technology and attitudes toward giving.
This week, we’ll explore members of the Baby Boom and how they feel about money, technology, and giving.
Who are the Boomers?
Baby Boomers are the largest generation, comprising almost 40% of the nation’s population at the peak of the baby boom in 1957. Now in their 50s and 60s, the hard-working Baby Boomers grew up with abundance, health, and egocentricity, and they currently control 70% of disposable income in the United States. They formed the ﬁrst technological generation actively using and shaping technology. In fact, Boomers like Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs, invented the personal computer.
Even those Boomers who prefer paper reminders are still more likely to donate if they can do so digitally. The key is to target Boomer messaging through both traditional and online channels, but to also provide multiple options for giving that include online options. Take advantage of this on-the-go group’s generosity by making it easy to set up recurring donations, a proven way to avoid giving slumps.
Boomers are generous and not averse to the idea of giving out of responsibility. This group cares deeply about the church’s ﬁscal accountability with funding. Transparency about spending goals and budgets keeps Boomers “invested” in supporting those efforts. Be sure to focus on convenience, efficiency, and value.
Who are Your Boomers?
Run a report to find out:
- What percentage of your congregation was born between 1946 and 1964
- What percentage of your giving is coming from Boomers
- Changes in individual Boomer’s giving patterns
- How many Boomers have left your church in 2014
What will you learn? And how will you communicate with YOUR Boomers?
Let us know which generation you’d like to learn about next on Twitter, with #GenGapGiving, on our Facebook post, or here in the comments.