This group was mistakenly named “Silent” in a 1951 Time magazine article that described them as less vocal and enthusiastic than the generations before them. This was most likely due to the war and economic hardship that characterized their lives. Theirs was the smallest generation but they were certainly not silent. In fact, their energy led to the unrivaled growth of the new American economy. They were considered “Lucky” because they got in on the ground floor of that historic prosperity.
As a whole, they tend to be very frugal, hardworking, financially conservative, and cautious. Now in their 70s and above, this generation does not like change or risk.
Recommendation for the Silent Generation
These long-time, faithful givers generally prefer traditional methods of messaging and giving. However if they use email, they will increasingly take advantage of online giving if offered, so an online giving button or link in your messages to this group makes sense. Help them understand how online donations (over other forms of giving) benefit the church, and focus on ease of use, perhaps through a humorous giving kiosk demo or campaign: “so easy even our pastor can do it—with help from his son”. Members of the Silent Generation, like all other generations, can range from wealthy to barely making it on a fixed income. They are the most likely to feel the responsibility of generosity and regular tithing, even when they have little to give, so go easy on messaging that pulls at their heart strings. In general, use verbal reminders and snail mail messaging with self-addressed return envelopes.
Your turn: Share your perceptions about givers from the Silent Generation in the comments below.
Up Next: The Millennials!