How to Reach Every Member in Every Pew
To create the most successful church capital campaigns, we must appeal to the needs and behaviors of all our donors. Each generation presents its own challenges and opportunities to those raising funds for ministry.
Here's a brief summary of the different generations:
Born 1945 or earlier
Represent 26% of total giving, with 27.1 million donors in US, and 88% give
Born 1946 to 1964
Represent 43% of total giving, with 51 million donors in US, and 72% give
Born 1965 to 1980
Represent 20% of total giving, with 39.5 million donors in US, and 59% give
Born 1981 to 1995
Represent 11% of total giving, with 32.8 million donors in US, and 60% give
As you can see, Baby Boomers can have a big impact on any fundraising effort, since they are the largest donor group. However, Matures give at the highest percentage.
Here are some tips to effectively reaching all generations:
Get to know donors
To speak to the needs of your donors, you first must get to know them. If you want to talk to donors about what matters to them, it helps to know their generation. Simply asking for birthdays can give you the information you need to appeal to what matters most to your donors.
Find out what donors want
You can also ask donors what they want. Do they want to receive written information in the mail, by email or in person? Are they using social media? Would they like to give online or through electronic methods?
Create targeted communications
You may want to develop different messages for each of your audiences. Younger donors may be motivated to give for different reasons than more mature groups. For instance, in a debt retirement campaign, younger donors may be inspired by the new opportunities created when paying off debt. On the other hand, older generations may feel it's more financially responsible to eliminate debt before starting new projects.
Your older members may be more willing to take things at face value, while younger members will want to know all the details. They want to know how things work, what progress is being made, and plans to reach end goals. The more information and regular updates you can give all generations, the better.
Keep in touch
It's important to stay in front of your donors. You may need to keep in contact in different ways. Young donors may want to be reached via email, social media or texting. Older generations may like to receive phone calls or printed mail. Be sure to ask for feedback on how you're doing. Every generation likes to know their opinion matters!
By understanding the giving habits of each generation, you can better tailor your capital campaign efforts to appeal to everyone. You can also communicate with members in the way that best fits their lifestyle.