Inspiring Generosity


What You Need to Know about Millennial Giving

A real Millennail! SD5432SD @ pixabay.com

On Sunday afternoon, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I was at an in-home sales party where certain products were being sold that promised to reverse the aging process (Benjamin Button here I come).

I made a comment to my 21-year-old daughter that she did not require such rejuvenation because she was merely a young Millennial. “Mom,” my daughter replied, “I’m not a Millennial. I’m Generation Z.”
Well shiver me timbers! Do you know what that means?
Millennials are now between the ages of 23-38. 38?! Crikey. That’s starting to sound old. If 38 is sounding old then that means I’m really old. I best buy a pallet of that face cream before it’s too late.
I started thinking about Millennials after a recent article in the ever-helpful Lewis Center for Church Leadership newsletter, Leading Ideas. 5 Turnoffs for Millennials Seeking a Church” scoured data from the Barna Group. The “turnoffs”: 1. out-of-date or non-existent digital presence (take a read of this post, Your Website is More Important than You Think), 2. lack of diversity (especially in church leadership), 3. political pastors (Millennials are generally independents and don’t want to see their pastor endorsing candidates), 4. pessimistic sermons (count me in as a Millennial), and 5. disparaging comments about Millennials (no one likes to be the butt of your “jokes”).
Not long after reading that article, I learned even more about Millennials. Kenny Jahng of “Generosity Labs” did a podcast on “Non -Profit Giving Stats for 2019.” Compiled from 36 sources, Non-Profit Source had these stats on Millennials and their giving:
-  Millennials make up 25.9% of the US population
-  40% of Millennial donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program (perfect for churches – don’t miss out)
-  26% gave tribute gifts (maybe in memory of a grandparent or in honor of a special educator)
-  46% donated to crowdfunding campaigns (keep this in mind for one-time funding needs)
-  55% attended fundraising events (hey, everyone wants a night away from the kids)
-  11% of total giving came from Millennials (and will only keep growing)
-  84% of Millennials gave to charity, donating an annual average of $481 across 3.3 organizations (is your congregation or organization one of their chosen?)
-  Millennials are active on their phones and respond best to text messages and social media but rarely check personal emails or respond to voice calls (from experience, this is true)
-  47% gave through an organization’s website in 2016 (are you making it easy for someone to give via your website?)
Bottom line:
Millennials can be generous and should not be overlooked. They may not have a lot to give (yet), but they do want to give.
While it may not seem like an obvious need to you, they expect you to be digitally savvy so that they can give in a way that’s easy for them. Like any good welcoming congregation or organization – you need to keep up with technology.
Once again, make it easy for Millennials to give. Even more important, text or face-to-face ask a Millennial how you can do better. And then, after you've listened, treat yourself to some of that fabulous Benjamin Button face cream. You deserve it.
P.S. Webinar alert! This Tuesday, August 6, Ken Sloane (Stewardship & Generosity Director of UMC Discipleship Ministries) and I will be leading, “Grant Writing 101: The Basics for Church Leaders.” You’ll learn something new. Be sure to sign up here.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Not to worry. Cesie’s gamely accepting her wrinkles. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.